VW Soundfoundation

Brand loyal­ty through music: The VW Soundfoundation

In 1997, Volkswagen alre­ady came to the con­clu­si­on that a com­mu­ni­ty out­side of the auto­mo­ti­ve world offers new adver­ti­sing pos­si­bi­li­ties. Sponsoring up-and-com­ing artists ope­ned unlo­cked com­ple­te­ly new poten­ti­als and resul­ted in German stars like Polarkreis 18, Prinz Pi, Jupiter Jones or Moonbootica.

About ten years later, the Interactive Marketing Group reac­tiva­ted and adap­ted this con­cept to online: The cen­ter of all activi­ties was the por­tal Soundfoundation​.de, whe­re music fans were able to vote for their favo­ri­te artist and win con­cert tickets etc.

The users quick­ly beca­me a com­mu­ni­ty and tur­ned out to be ano­t­her important cor­ner stone on Volkswagen’s path towards beco­m­ing an emo­tio­na­li­zed brand and reaching out to a new group of buy­ers with a con­s­i­derable lower average than 49 years.

Soundfoundation rel­oa­ded

Music – along with sports – is the most emo­tio­nal con­su­mer activi­ty. Although Volkswagen noti­ced this ear­ly on, they did not con­ti­nue to use the exis­ting Soundfoundation platform.

Introducing new, unusu­al and attrac­tive com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on for­mats by clo­se­ly coope­ra­ting with artists, com­po­sers, event hosts  and all rele­vant rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ves of the record indus­try were essen­ti­al steps to reac­tiva­te the Soundfoundation.

  • Innovative func­tio­na­li­ties like weight­ed voting and fan blogs gua­ran­teed high reach
  • Design of the Soundfoundation: From the key visu­al to merchandise
  • An explo­ra­ti­ve search helps dis­co­vering new artists and is a real bene­fit for the users
  • Support by experts: Renowned artists hel­ped with the final choice of the win­ners and sup­por­ted them as mentors

Experienced and inde­pen­dent: The SF Mentors and the SF Board

Based on our recom­men­da­ti­on, the brand Volkswagen takes a step back and lea­ves the voting for the best bands to an inde­pen­dent expert board.

Successful (German) bands like Reamonn or Mia did not only offer their help and advice, but also gave the new­co­mers an addi­tio­nal PR boost and invi­ted them to join them on their tour as sup­porting act.

  • Conceptual design of the Soundfoundation Mentor programme
  • Conceptual design and rea­li­za­ti­on of the Soundfoundation Board



Community Management

After a quick imple­men­ta­ti­on done by Volkswagen and advi­sed by IMG, day-to-day ope­ra­ti­ons and the com­mu­ni­ty manage­ment were our responsibility.

Additional fea­tures like music dis­co­ver or the Soundfoundation radio were deve­lo­ped based on user feed­back and offe­red even more bene­fits for the community.

  • Design, ope­ra­ti­on and fur­t­her deve­lop­ment of the SF inter­net community
  • A bonus sys­tem awar­ded points for por­tal activi­ty which could be used for the band voting
  • Within three mon­ths, we crea­ted an active com­mu­ni­ty con­sis­ting of more than 9,000 users