VW

VW Electric Café. Augmented Reality, That Seems a Bit Surreal.

There are a couple of things that struck me when I saw this video on YouTube. First it’s a great use of Augmented Reality to advertise the thrifty nature of the VW Electric Golf. Second, it is how absolutely Western the setting, and people look. The Chinese people, not the token white guy in the video.

I know there is a huge fascination with western culture in China, and especially all things American, but Ogilvy Beijing and Ogilvy Hong Kong took it to a new level by using only English language titles in the Augmented reality application, and by making the only place the application functions a café that feels like a cross between an Apple store and a Starbucks.

The Augmented Reality app “Electric Café” from Volkswagen, was setup to educate and inspire people in China about how energy efficient the VW Electric Golf actually is in comparison to other electric appliances they use every day.

The café is peppered with AR markers on each of the appliances that are in the Café space.When an iOS device is pointed at any of the markers the AR experience comes to life and shows a comparison between the appliance, and how far you could drive the Golf based on the amount of juice that appliance uses in a day. It’s a pretty clever idea, and one that I wish I knew more about that strategy behind. I’d be really curious to see what the thinking was behind the very western execution of this.

By the way, is it just me, or do all of the people in this video look like they were just plucked out of some mid-western shopping mall in America.

“Polo Dad”. A Dad, a Car, a Daughter, an Ad.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, Volkswagen UK has released a new TV spot for the Polo. There is no dialog used through out the spot, but the story telling and emotional connection is there. More importantly, the actual product is hardly noticeable until the very end of the spot.

The car is featured through out, but done so in a very subtle way, pushing the focus onto the relationship between the father and daughter. The really nice tie in here is how VW manages to make the connection  between the father figure, the daughter, the car and the brand with the two lines of copy at the end. “Stay in safe hands”, and “Polo, small but tough”.

“Our new TV ad for the Volkswagen Polo shows the evolving relationship of a protective father and his daughter, from the moment he first brings her home from the hospital to the day she finally leaves home, when he hands her the keys to a shiny new Polo — ensuring she “stays in safe hands”.

Chip Foose: “My First Golf” for the 2012 Golf R.

If you are an auto enthusiast you probably know the name “Chip Foose”. The guy is a legendary auto designer that specializes in customizing cars. If you have ever seen the TV show “Overhaulin”, then you have probably seen Chip sketch out his designs by hand the old school way. I have to say this is one of the reasons I’m a fan of this guy. He has a great style, and his 25 years behind a pen shows.

The video below was created by Volkswagen to help introduce the 2012 Golf R to America. It is really nice short film featuring Chip doing his thing as he reminisces about his VW Golf. This little film features some really nice camera work and lighting. Even if you aren’t a car nut it’s worth a watch. Great visuals, nice mellow soundtrack, solid editing and color grading. Totally worth 2 minutes of your time.

The VW Park Assist iAd from Almap.

Demonstrating new technology for the automotive industry without an actual test drive can be challenging. The best advertising in the world can’t give the feeling of a hands on experience, and quite often car/tech advertising fails to translate into people at the dealership.

Almap BBDO from Brazil has managed to possibly bridge this gap with a clever little iPad application for the VW Tiguan. The application or iAd if you prefer was promoted through Auto Esporte magazine, and accurately demonstrates how the parking assist works with the car by allowing you to park the car between your fingers hands free.  I have no idea how successful this ad was at converting to actual sales or even test drives, but it is a nice example of how iAds are becoming more ubiquitous and accepted on iDevices.

 

VW’s BlueMotion Roulette.

When advertising something that is fairly abstract like fuel economy, coming up with a memorable concept can be a bit tricky. What I mean by that is, we all know what fuel economy means, but associating it with an actual statistic; and doing it in a way that attracts attention can be a challenge.

To advertise VW’s “BlueMotion” technology a physical and social media campaign for Norway was developed around a BlueMotion automobile. Over the course of a single trip from Oslo, 50,000 online followers tracked the vehicle, and bet on when it would run out of fuel.The person that bet right won the car. The campaign was used one TV commercial to advertise the contest, and the rest spread virally.

Nice Job VW.

Eos Shadow Poster.

This is such a simple idea, but it is really brilliant. DDB Berlin, created a simple structure that is placed horizontally above a busy pedestrian traffic area. When the sun is shining, the sign displays a simple call to action, “Perfect day for a test drive.” This simple ad, was able to generate a 12% increase in test drives of the VW Eos in almost every location it was placed at. Those numbers show the effectiveness of this simple concept.

Design Friday. BP’s Immersive Online Gaming Experience.

Over the last year there has been this huge debate about HTML 5 vs Flash. I’m not going to get into a debate, or start some rant about which is better or why people should realize that HTML 5 and Flash can work together for an even better user experience. OK I’m starting to rant. Enough of that, and on to what I really wanted to post about, which is the solid gaming design and beautiful interactive design execution for BP’s Ultimate Ride 2 website.

HelloComputer has created an online interactive game for BP South Africa that lets you design and build your own custom Volkswagen GTI. The game is built with Flash and takes advantage of some of the latest Flash technology to create a highly interactive 3D gaming experience with hooks to social media channels.

Ultimately the game functions as a brand extension for BP, creating brand buzz and associating the oil giant with something fun and cool. The multi-player online game lets you modify and customize your virtual GTI, race against others online, and judge others car designs as well. As you play the game, you develop street cred which translates into virtual cash letting you buy more items or your car. As your car gets judged by others and as you win more races you continue to get more virtual cash so you can build and customize more cars. This applies to sharing your results with Facebook and Twitter as well. The game has an addictive hook and sets up a viral loop that helps sell the site, and extend its reach with the target audience.

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If you have some time go to the Ultimate Ride site and check it out. By the way, did I mention that the game was built using Flash? Oh I did, didn’t I. Yes this game was built using Flash, and while you might have been able to build it using HTML5, I can’t even imagine the difficulty, or what the end result would be like. I hate to say it Flash naysayers but I don’t think it would have been as fluid or as polished as it is if you had built it with HTML 5 alone.