Villing & Company

Challenge Accepted: How One Facebook Comment Pushed VW to Create a Self-Stopping Stroller

A recent story in Adweek about a new prototype from Volkswagen Netherlands caught my eye. No, it’s not a car, but it is meant to carry some precious cargo.

VW Netherlands aired a TV spot in April joking about how VW owners were so pleased with their cars that they expected the same type of ingenuity from other household items. One specific item they highlighted was a self-stopping baby stroller.

It is certainly a creative ad, but that is not why I’m writing about it here. Volkswagen posted the ad on Facebook. That’s where the story gets really good.

Timo Ros, from Amsterdam ad agency Achtung!, posted a comment suggesting that a stroller that stops itself is actually a good idea…and Volkswagen listened.

The automaker quickly got to work on a prototype. The video below shows the stroller in action. It even has the ability to “follow” someone by matching their speed.

It is an amazing story. That one Facebook comment brought it all about makes it even more special.

I want to focus on something that VW did wonderfully here, and that is the art of listening. Had they not been monitoring the conversation surrounding their brand online, they wouldn’t have noticed this. Maybe they would have started working on this eventually, but it was this fan comment that gave them that added incentive.

This is a valuable lesson for all marketers. Yes, commenters on social media have a reputation for spouting off nonsense. But don’t write all of them off. Listen to what customers are saying about your brand. You might find inspiration for your next big success story.

Filed Under: advertising

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