In 2011, Volkswagen launched the latest version of its To the tune of “the Imperial March”, the boy tries to work with “the energy of this force” to move various unique items in his house. The boy comes nearer and stretches his arms to try and utilize his power. The dad watches him from inside the house and activates the automobile automatic ignition using a remote controller. Lastly, the power of youthful Darth Vader has functioned. The 30-second-long TV ad was initially exhibited at the beginning of that season’s Super Bowl. The game took place on 6 February.
The manufacturer paid between 2.8 and 3 million bucks for this advertising placement. The game was televised from the FOX channel and its audience conquered 111 million viewers making it the most-watched television program in the history of the United States.
However, the novelty of this launch campaign for the new Passat was the merging of its off-line and online strategies. The “The Force” campaign altered the concept of advertising connected into this Super Bowl. Four days before, the advert was uploaded on YouTube. This completely went against the strategy that many advertisers had followed until then, maintaining the adverts that were going to appear during the Super Bowl practically secret.
On Sunday, before its broadcast, it’d reached 8 million viewpoints; and between its broadcast and also the kick-off, it surpassed 17 million viewpoints. Near the end of 2011, the magazine Advertising Age (2011) estimated the video had obtained 62.7 million views.
YouTube itself (2017) generated the “List of the top 20 Super Bowl ads on YouTube in 2008 to 2016”. The effort “The Force” stayed in the third spot to the number of visits during January and February in the season it had been launched. Its success with the audience and penetration was matched by its achievement in promotion festivals.
Although many factors unrelated to its advertising achievement could have affected the Passat’s revenue figures in the USA, the simple fact is that sales for this version grew by 82.71 percent, increasing from 12,497 units in 2010 to 22,835 in 2011. In 2012, earnings grew, even more, accomplishing 117,023 units, with an annual increase rate of 412%, climbing to position variety 37 among all versions.
On a global level, in all its various foreign versions, the Passat version ended up since the best-selling car in 2012. Certainly, this detailed marketing campaign was the work of a business, Volkswagen that has mastered The Force although this power might have taken them into the dark side.
At almost the identical moment as the “The Force” effort, Volkswagen also launched the “Think Blue.” Program on the American continent after releasing it in Europe a year before, in 2010. The objective of this program will be to group all of the Volkswagen brand’s sustainable movement attempts under a single motto. This program was the visible side of the corporation’s need to “become the world’s top automaker”. It was established on three lines of action:
- Reducing polluting emissions by focusing on Technological invention.
- Offsetting the CO2 emissions that, despite the Technological advances, keep being emitted by Volkswagen vehicles.
- Raising public awareness about more effective driving Methods and, generally, about more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.
While the achievement of this “The Force” marketing campaign Was being enjoyed in the United States and Volkswagen was positioning itself as a Jedi that wanted to safeguard the environment, in another part of Earth, there wasn’t a disagreement about the pace at which we had to progress in the fight against climate change and also the decarbonizing of the market.
In 2011, the debate was about increasing the reduction goal to 30% from the year 2020. Over 90 main companies including Google, Ikea, Sony, Unilever, and Philips encourage a 30% target, a lot of whom have signed public statements in support of the more ambitious goal.
The burning of oil in automobile engines creates significant amounts of GHG emissions. The European Environment Agency estimates that automobiles are the single largest source of transportation emissions, representing around half of the total. With this brand new legislative proposal, the intention was to create the standard that brands new automobiles needed to comply with more rigorous 80 g of CO2/km by 2020 without more than 60 g of CO2/ km by 2025.
In this, the environmental group accused the German maker of being “among the driving forces in the lobbying effort against the introduction of these vehicle efficiency standards”. In addition to the pressure exerted through the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the report calculated that Volkswagen “spends at least 2.3 million per year on EU lobbying alone”. Because of this, it may be argued that the “Volkswagen Group isn’t only a big financial player in Europe, it is a political player too”.
The German firm highlighted the negative effects that this environmental coverage would have on Europe’s economic growth and the number of jobs. Greenpeace estimates that the new automobiles offered by the company in 2009 emitted over 5 million tonnes of CO2 each year, representing an estimated 23% of the whole oil use and related CO2 emissions of European cars. What’s more, the German firm’s improvements were worse compared to those of other competitors.
At the time between 2006 and 2009, Volkswagen decreased “its fleet’s average per-kilometer emissions by 7.8%, whereas opponents BMW and Toyota reached reductions of 18% and 14 percent, respectively”. The strange thing is that the firm had designed the BlueMotion technology to create highly fuel-efficient vehicles. But, instead of applying this to all its fleet, it was integrating it as an “attachment” in certain versions of its titles while adding a price surcharge.
The report from Greenpeace stated that in 2011 there have been “nearly 70 different variations of the Volkswagen Golf. However, most the Golf versions without BlueMotion emit more than 130 g of CO2/km (gas ) and 120 g of CO2/km (petrol )… the least expensive and most basic model of this Golf emits 149 g of CO2/km”. Additionally, “Volkswagen’s’efficacy’ versions of the cars can also be sold in a much higher cost than the typical models. The actual cost of the technology bundle, based on leading technology consultants PA Consulting, could only be 260 $, implying that Volkswagen is now adding a substantial mark-up for its BlueMotion manufacturer”. Even the planting of trees in the Think Blue forests to offset the emissions throughout the first 20,000 km was sold as optional gear for a normal price of 150 $. The urge to become “the most eco-friendly automaker on the planet” and the Think Blue job were more of a greenwashing effort than any actual concern embedded into the firm’s philosophy and organizational culture. Volkswagen had not mastered “The Force” and gone into the dark side: benefiting from ecological concerns to market more automobiles.
A people’s rebellion from this greenwashing was necessary. The situation revealed in the technical analysis had to be hauled to people to turn them into Green Jedis which could force Volkswagen executives to maneuver away from the”Dark Side”.
The achievement of this “The Force” campaign was used by Greenpeace to style an anti-advertising campaign in protest of the German company’s behavior. It established the site www.vwdarkside.com and made a video mimicking the first advertisement, which was uploaded into Greenpeace’s YouTube account.
The new Passat has been replaced with an old one in poor condition. They face Darth Vader and watch as spaceships take off by the Death Star, designed together with the emblem of the German manufacturer. The video ends with the message “VW is threatening our world by opposing cuts into CO2 emissions. Join the rebellion”.
In a second video, the story continues, and also a banner is displayed from the Death Star which reads: “Conserve your Planet! Greenpeace”. It ends with a fun dance by all of the characters. What’s more, the environmental team performed several road advertising actions and in several printed press stations changed the organization’s emblem “Das Auto” to “Das problem”.
The first video, printed on 27 June, propagate quickly on the social websites, and its own viral success was of the level seen for Volkswagen’s advertisement. The societal impact of the protest could be thought of as a struggle won by the ecological activists. However, victory in the ecological aspect would need to wait nearly 2 decades.
Back in March 2013, Greenpeace released an announcement welcoming the car manufacturer’s change of mindset. One thing they said they couldn’t do before you cried BS to create VW turn away from the Dark Side! … However, 526,000 Greenpeace fans across Earth have driven VW to alter its coverage and its own cars. For the previous two years, VW denied backing a key European law that would make automobiles more effective and help decrease our reliance on petroleum.
VW was a significant barrier against strong aims. As the largest and most effective automobile business in Europe, they used there would be to lobby politicians and obstruct progress. But after over half a million people stood against them, a parody of the Star Wars advert went viral throughout the internet, thousands of activists dressed as storm troopers protested in their dealerships and on the streets, and direct activities at car shows across Europe, VW has caved into pressure from throughout the world and declared they will meet and support climate targets.
This success could not have occurred without you. Back in June 2011 when we started this campaign, VW chose to eliminate our videos from YouTube instead of talk about the efficiency of its cars or the way it had been lobbying against strong EU climate legislation. VW has publicly agreed to live up to its claims to be the planet’s biggest car business, setting an example for the rest of the industry.
That is what we can achieve when we act collectively! …. A battle had been won from the Green Jedi, but had exactly the dark side of Volkswagen been defeated forever? The company still had an extremely strong weapon in its favor: automobile sales. During the year of this battle, 2011, the maximum selling car units in Europe were from Volkswagen (Golf and Polo), using a third party (Passat) one of the best 10.
We needed to wait until September 2015 for the shadowy side of the Volkswagen automobile set to come to light. It had been operating from the shadows throughout the past couple of years despite its great intentions surfaced in political forums and also its commercial communication.
The scandal called “Dieselgate” found the corporation’s greenwashing once more. Following scientific research, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that the German maker was lying concerning the circadian rhythms of its diesel automobile motors, installing software which detected if the vehicle was undergoing an evaluation and decreasing polluting gas emissions at this moment. The application was set up in the majority of diesel vehicles offered between 2008 and 2015.
According to EPA statistics, those cars emitted up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared to the amount established by North American and European regulations. As a result of that, the business saved 600 $ per vehicle. In light of this situation, the Green Jedis at Greenpeace needed to team up once more. The 2011 video moved viral on social networks. By February 2018 the movie was viewed 1.79 million instances on Greenpeace’s YouTube page. Greenpeace: The Threat of the Dark Side of Volkswagen 19 New street marketing activities against the company began. Moreover, there were also placards where the advertising slogan “Das Auto” had been altered to get “Das Problem” and many others wherein the carbon dioxide formula, CO2, the sequence had been substituted with the round signature of VW.
Also as with some other actions in the new car dealerships, there were activist protests in the United Kingdom to interfere with the unloading of containers carrying the provider’s automobiles. And Volkswagen was included in the “Justice for people and planet” report (Greenpeace 2018), which comprises 20 cases of corporations that have abused and broken environmental and human rights.
The intensity of the facts created the motion by the Green Jedi to discredit the trade name the least of their corporation’s problems. Following the fraud was revealed, the worth of its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange dropped by 36.6percent in one month: from 159 $ per share on 2 September to only 101 $ 2 October.
Despite the Volkswagen group with attained record amounts in 2014 for earnings (over 11 billion $), earnings (10.14 million automobiles ) and turnover (over 200 billion $) and in the early quarter of 2015 having surpassed Toyota since the major global seller of automobiles, the Dieselgate scandal supposed it ended the year with 4069 million $ in working losses and 1582 million in net declines. Behind this financial crisis were the enormous compensation amounts the business was beginning to confront. In September 2017, the business estimated that the cost of fines, trials, buybacks, and repairs all around the globe had attained 25.1 billion $ (El País 2017).
Business CEO Martin Winterkorn had to resign, and lots of executives had been given prison sentences in the United States. Once more the dark side seemed to have been defeated, however…
In January 2018, many German media outlets unearthed Another scandal that directly influenced the German carmaker and its own policy of irresponsibility towards individual health and the environment, together with the sole goal of continuing to improve earnings of fossil fuel vehicles. To do so they needed to set the ramifications which the gases emitted have about the respiratory system and blood flow. The experiment was originally carried out to ten macaque monkeys locked from crystal cubicles for 4 hours while trapping the gases that both car models emitted. Afterward, experts examined the respiratory tracts of the reptiles with the support of a unique endoscope. The contentious experiment had the exact opposite results to the expected, but the company never made it public. Even more astonishingly, days later 20 A. Chamorro-Mera it was also leaked that the experiment had been completed on 25 individuals, who they forced to inhale carbon dioxide (NO2).
Following so much disdain because of its Customers, human beings, and The entire world, the question which remains is: Does a company like Volkswagen endure In the industry or will the force of thousands of taxpayers behaving as Green Jedi Defeat it and make it change its behavior? Unfortunately, commercial and financial Figures seem to suggest that defeating Volkswagen’s dark side has some Way to proceed. The growth of the German team’s share price can be observed in Fig. 1 and doesn’t show any punishment in the long and medium-term for the Unearthed scandals. The gain in 2016: 7103 million of operating gain and 5144 million of internet Gain. Turnover for the category was 217,267 million, and its global Motor Vehicle Earnings reached the record figure of 10.29 million units. And it turned into the Largest automobile manufacturer worldwide ahead of Toyota! The entire year 2017 closed With new sales records. It continues to lead the worldwide market with 10,413,355 units (including all of its manufacturers ), and three Volkswagen brand models