Communidad, MPG Win VW Latin America

ATLANTA La communidad has secured the creative portion of Volkswagen’s $3 million Latin American advertising account following a review, the client confirmed.

The agency, with offices in Miami and Buenos Aires, Argentina, prevailed over Creativeondemand in Coral Gables, Fla., and Grupono, also in Miami, for the creative assignment. Work will encompass radio, television, print, billboards and guerilla marketing.

At the same time, Havas’ MPG in Miami was tapped to handle the media portion of the account.

Jaime Paredes, advertising and promotions manager for Volkswagen’s Latin American importer, Interamericana Transport Industries, said the decision was tight. In the end, he said communidad’s experience with VW (the shop handles the client’s Argentina business, including this year’s relaunch of the Gol) helped tip the scales.

Paredes called communidad’s presentation clear and concise. “The most important reason was that they had some ideas of their own about the Latin American mind-set,” he said.

Because ITI markets in countries where the German automaker does not have a factory, the cars are more expensive. But most models, although targeted at well-educated, middle-class drivers, are considered entry-level vehicles, said Paredes.

Positioning, according to agency president Gary Bassell, needs to focus on German technology, styling, design and reliability. “It’s not in VW’s best interests to be perceived as a luxury car, but the reality is that it’s a bit pricier than you’ll find in the U.S.,” Bassell said.

Bassell said one key to his presentation was to rediscover the casual spirit of VW. “It’s not about being a stiff luxury brand, but a fun brand for everyday people,” he said.

Work from communidad will break as early as July for several models, including the Gol, Polo and Savedo.

ITI distributes VW in Central America, Columbia, Ecuador and Puerto Rico.