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Volkswagen won’t be ‘Voltswagen’ after all: Misleading marketing is risky, especially for VW

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At a time when America is grappling with a misinformation crisis, is it acceptable to mislead reporters and the public as a marketing strategy?

For Volkswagen, the answer is yes.

Click here to the read the story at usatoday.com.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is misleading marketing (as described in the headline of this news story)?
  2. Why might misleading marketing be risky?
  3. What is a marketing stunt?
  4. Why do brands engage in marketing stunts?
  5. Based on information from this story, what was VW’s April Fool’s Day marketing stunt?
  6. Why do you think VW lied to reporters who asked if this was a genuine marketing strategy and not a joke?
  7. The author of this story suggests VW should be judged differently from other brands who have pulled similar April Fool’s Day stunts in the past like IHOP. Why? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  8. Do you think VW regrets the stunt? Why or why not?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.

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