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VW did it for the gramINTL

VW did it for the gram

Now here’s a good, old social media prank gone wrong, courtesy of none other than Volkswagen. The German carmaker issued a press release claiming that it would rename its US business to “Voltswagen of America” — Donald Trump’s PR team might have come up with this name, cringe! But, turns out the whole thing was an April Fool’s Day publicity stunt orchestrated to highlight its efforts in the electric vehicle industry (see the pun now?).

Many quickly took to social media to criticize the company for the news release, throwing it back to its diesel emissions scandal that culminated with a $4.3b legal settlement with the US Justice Department.

Since Volkswagen is about our grandparents’ age, we are not surprised that it didn’t see this backlash coming. On that note — Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone!

why it matters
This is a classic example of how marketing can go wrong. In 2019, VW was slammed for a social media advert that was considered racist — a board member had to apologize after evoking a Nazi slogan while speaking of the firm’s earnings! You'd think the guys at VW would have learned their lesson by now?!