The Volkswagen Polo Confidence ad, which shows a dog and its owner driving in a Volkswagen Polo, first aired at the beginning of March.
When the dog is in the car, it sings loud and proud due to the confidence it receives from being in the Polo. However, when the dog is out of the car, it begins to shiver and only mutters the song under its breath - a sign that the dog is only confident when driven in a Polo.
Unfortunately, the campaign is currently under scrutiny from the RSPCA, after the Advertising Standards Authority received 260 complaints suggesting that the dog must have been the subject of abuse to react in such a manner.
Using BrandIndex, it is possible to compare Volkswagen's scores with a customised benchmark - in this instance, a benchmark of German car manufacturers, including rival brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
Since the beginning of February, Volkswagen has seen its "recommend" score improve slightly to 28%, with the brand's "corporate" score remaining at 21%.
Volkswagen's recommend score compares favourably to the German manufacturer benchmark, which currently has a score of 20% for this indicator. However, the benchmark has a higher corporate score of 32%: 11% points higher than Volkswagen's.
BrandIndex will continue to track the brand and to monitor how it is affected by the controversy surrounding using a singing dog in its campaign.
With Porsche as its new owners, Volkswagen will be keen to prove that 2008 can repeat the results achieved last year, when it sold a record number of cars and saw profits rise 40%. After such a strong 2007, it will be interesting to see if Volkswagen can maintain its high scores for each of the indicators.
METHODOLOGY: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors.
It is measured on a seven-point profile:
2. General impression
7. Corporate reputation
In addition, we supply an index score.
By Sundip Chahal, www.brandindex.com.