In a recent print ad, Volkswagen quantifies how its new factory in Tennessee will help jump-start the local economy there while emphasizing how the German automaker has already bumped up community optimism:
“Why are we smiling? For the same reason the good folks in Chattanooga, Tennessee are. There you’ll find a whole city of smiling people excited about the brand new, state-of-the-art factory we are building there. And the positive effects are already apparent. To date, more than $437 million in local contracts have been awarded, with $1 billion being invested overall. Our new factory will also provide over 2,000 new jobs … and bring an additional 9,400 indirect jobs to workers in Tennessee.”
We’ve seen a few other brands go a similar route, such as Woolworths telling consumers that it “employs thousands of Australians. And we’re always looking for more.” In this case, Volkswagen is tapping into emerging notions of community spirit while making an international brand feel particularly local. This is a smart idea at a time when grassroots economic stimulus movements like the 3/50 Project—an attempt to bolster independently owned businesses—are gaining popularity. The ad also assures consumers who are losing faith in corporations that large global organizations can play an important role in helping their communities.