When Volkswagen called for customer stories during a relaunch of the Beetle this year, Pedro Delgado logged on to Facebook to share a doozy.
In 1990, he drove from Argentina to Alaska in a 9-year-old Bug, bribing his way out of tight corners when he was stopped by anti-government guerrillas in Peru and Colombia.
“They were surprised that I came from so far away with that small car, traveling alone with so little equipment,” he wrote in a piece that ended up on VW’s blog.
The story highlights Volkswagen’s social media strategy for marketing a sportier, more dynamic version of an iconic car. It wasn’t about building brand awareness or even just tweeting the snazziness of the 2012 Beetle.
The company used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and its blog to remind consumers of the emotional connection they have with the car—and to give them an opportunity to reminisce about an automobile beloved by its fans, Chee says.