Just like Twitter and their “Stories” initiative from the end of 2011, Volkswagen decided to engage customers, and retell the experiences they’ve had with the brand. Volkswagen launched a brand campaign called “Why VW”, which revolves around a dedicated website where VW owners’ stories are showcased. People are invited to share their own stories on the website, and in return, the best stories will be rewarded with “special perks” such as event tickets or VW gear.

Kevin Mayer, Marketing Vice President at VW America, commented on the campaign: “Year after year, we receive countless stories from VW owners that sum up the unique passion people have for the brand, but we haven’t had a great way to curate or share them until now… The Why VW campaign provides a new creative outlet for our owners and fans to share their individual Volkswagen stories with the world, and allows us to engage with them in a more meaningful way.” 

The campaign was launched with the airing of a 30 second video called “Smiles”, which shows people of different ages laughing, emphasizing the brands positivity and simplicity. The spot is being aired at strategically selected times – during presidential debates or premieres of popular sitcom episodes. Take a look below:

Volkswagen made a smart decision to use the video crowdsourcing method to make people interested in their cars more familiar with them. Instead of hearing car dealers’ sweet talk, or read countless forum topics, they can see and hear first hand stories from fellow owners. Crowdsourcing seems to keep proving itself as a powerful tool that can be used in diverse ways. It doesn’t matter if it is finding out customers’ feelings about a brand, or even making a statement about it in an indirect way (just like VW did here), the tool becomes a powerful weapon in the hands that can use it wisely.