Volkswagen, promoting their new line of SUVs, is targeting "non-traditional families" in their new ads.
Regarding the campaign, marketing director for Volkswagen Canada said the following:
A lot of other manufacturers are doing SUV advertising in a really traditional way. [They show] the regular traditional family – mom and dad, kids, hockey bags, perhaps a dog. Volkswagen has always been about disrupting the status quo. What we wanted to lean into was an insight that Canadians are really coming from different, non-traditional families.
The spokesperson continued:
I think, in today’s society, the audience is broad. And for us, it’s very important that we are embracing everyone as they are.
This very-specific targeting to an incredibly small population segment, points to yet another "woke"-driven sales initiative, the likes of which have failed in recent history.
With seen varying examples of woke-related failures as of late, from Red Bull to Goodyear.
In 2018 an Ipsos survey determined that just 1-in-25 Canadians who are in a relationship describe it as being polyamorous or an open relationship. That's four per cent of Canadians who are in relationships, not counting polygamists, which is illegal in Canada.
About 20 million people in Canada are 25-64 years old, and 71 per cent of these people are married or common law; this market is a reasonable subsection that represents those who are buying family vehicles.
This equates to approximately less than two per cent of the population that Volkswagen are gearing their adverts toward.
Most reasonable people could argue that marketing towards a population that ranges between 500,000-750,000 people is not the best strategy for a car company.
This is not Volkswagen's first venture into corporate activism; the carmaker recently participated in #BlackoutTuesday, a social media campaign that saw social media users post black squares in place of actual content on their social pages in an effort to show solidarity with Black Americans based on their skin colour.
Volkswagen is also no stranger to recent controversy:
2018 saw the German company make headlines for exposing monkeys to diesel fumes to measure health impact. The controversial testing is said to have been known of for five years until it was stopped.
Will Volkswagen's latest social justice foray be a net positive result? Recent examples would suggest that is unlikely.