In 2015, Volkswagen was attempting to drive up their pre-sale goals in Canada. However, there was only one problem, the car wasn’t able to be test driven nor was it even on the lot. So, Volkswagen decided to take a rather unusual route and create the Volkswagen Countdown. On their website there was a price countdown that would originally start at the wholesale value, then it would slowly begin to countdown until a person from the online audience would click “lock it in”. This particular method was acting as a reverse auction. Volkswagen wanted to apply the pressure to the audience to see what they would be willing to offer for the car. Keep in mind that Volkswagen would’ve given the GTI Golf away for free if the countdown would’ve hit zero. All it took was one person to agree with a particular price before someone else did and the 2015 Volkswagen GTI was theirs at the agreed price. Once one of them would reverse auction off, another one would be up for grabs.
Volkswagen’s owned media tactics during this campaign were risky however in the breakdown of price, it was extremely cost effective. They used this on their website and promoted it through their own social media accounts to create awareness. Volkswagen figured that the GTI Golf was newsworthy enough and needed some buzz around it to help kick start sales for the 2015 year. I’d have to agree that reverse auctioning cars would be quite the idea when looking to gain attention from the automobile audience. This form of owned media created a social media sensation of earned media that spread all across Canada and the Providences within.