Any good advertising professional knows that having a firsthand experience with the product or service is essential to the creative process. The more you know, the better. What better way to experience a product than to witness how it’s made and learn about its history? Thanks to the generosity of Thorsten Jux, Managing Director, Leagas Delaney-Prague, our students were able to do just that.
On Tuesday afternoon we ventured to Mlada Boleslav about an hour Northeast of Prague. There we toured the Skoda factory and museum, accompanied by Lucie, one of the newest Account Managers at Leagas Delaney. It was a great opportunity for everyone to experience an important part of the research process. It was also just plain old fascinating to see the process of how a car is produced from beginning to end.
From beginning to end, it takes 25 hours of physical, human labor to make one car. Aside from the production aspects, it was fascinating to see how the Skoda brand is communicated across all touch points within the factory and museum. In addition to giving us the logistical information behind car manufacturing, our tour guides also made sure to provide us with a sense of what work life is like for the Skoda factory employees – including an overview of some benefits like higher pay than most Czech factories, more vacation time (five weeks) and maternity leave (six months paid at 80 percent and up to four years off with a guaranteed job, though not necessarily the same one), and free university classes (at a school founded by Skoda). The brand experience concluded with a guided tour through the museum, which showcased the history of Skoda bicycles, motorbikes and, of course, cars. It was an insightful brand experience and a captivating way to contextualize Czech history.
So, what were the main takeaways of the Skoda factory tour? First, it was important from a humanistic standpoint to have a reminder of the physical labor and remarkable logistical acumen that goes into producing the products we sometimes take for granted. Second, it was an opportunity for students to take what they experienced at the factory and translate it into an advertising framework. That’s where Thorsten Jux, Managing Director of Leagas Delaney-Prague stepped in.
Thorsten’s presentation as deep dive into the nuances of global branding, within the context of the Skoda brand and its mother company Volkswagen. His detailed discussion about how the brand lives in a global marketplace, yet subtly reflects a Czech sensibility was a worms-eye view into the intricacies of global brand management. In short it’s about “Substance in the age of the one-second brand. The brand in one second.” Skoda. Simply Clever.
Jean & Amanda