GTI Project Fast

Volkswagen has launched what must be an online viral marketing campaign for the new GTI.

Dear Michael J.,
You have been chosen by the Volkswagen GTI Mk V research and development team to take part in a nationwide research experiment exploring the psychological and social concept of “fast.”
To take part, please visit:
NOTE: We ask that you please DO NOT share this link as it may skew the results of this experiment.

I can’t believe they want to keep this secret! That is a guaranteed method to get the link passed around. Go check it out.
My brother is a Volkswagen GTI owner – the perfect car for commuting into Manhattan every day, apparently – and last year he got a call from a market research firm to participate in a study for the next-generation GTI. A couple of people showed up at his house one evening, and spent a couple of hours asking questions and showing various design studies for car shape, front grills, taillight designs, interior options, color selections, etc. I’d be interested to know how many of those study participants buy the new car because they feel they had a say in the design decisions. That’s an expensive way to “buy customers,” but television ads are very expensive, and if you took the total television budget and instead spent it on personal qualitative research, it just might be far more effective.