Volkswagen Beetle – Juiced Up

The Volkswagen Beetle has been many things over the years. But whether playing the role of the friendly, utilitarian car of the people, or a smile-on-wheels with a flower vase by the steering wheel, it’s also always been a single-minded exercise in progressive, iconic design. The latest incarnation of the Beetle is no exception. Although lurking beneath a shell that harkens back to the original is a machine that’s dedicated to performance and driving enjoyment.

While a focus on performance is definitely a new direction for the Beetle, innovation has always been a hallmark of the car’s personality, so Volkswagen Canada and Toronto advertising agency, Red Urban, agreed that innovation must also inform the marketing effort to launch the Beetle in Canada. To this end, much of the Beetle out of home advertising in Toronto and Vancouver offers an enhanced experience, using augmented reality (AR), a technology that allows people to use mobile devices like iPhones and iPads to see animations on the advertising that are triggered by markers embedded in the ads themselves.The AR animations can be seen on gigantic billboards in Toronto’s Dundas Square, as well as on transit shelters throughout Vancouver and Toronto. The animations themselves show the Beetle launching itself through billboards, jumping off of a massive ramp that appears to emerge from the side of a building, and smashing through transit shelters after racing through a long tunnel that appears to be built behind the shelter itself. All the animations serve to demonstrate that this is a much more aggressive, performance-oriented Beetle than any of its predecessors.

“Previous Beetles have been kind of cute and friendly, but this one has a lot more attitude, so we thought the advertising better live up to that,” notes Bruce Rosen, Director, Marketing and Communications of Volkswagen Canada. Steve Carli, President of Red Urban adds, “The car is a nod to the past and the future at the same time, so using the AR overlay on a very traditional out-of-home media buy really seemed like a solid conceptual fit.”

The out-of-home campaign runs from September 26 to October 30 in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In addition, an online digital campaign will run from October 26-November 26. The free app can be downloaded at vwjuicedup.ca, and people can experience the AR at home through the “Volkswagen Beetle. Juiced Up.” video on the Volkswagen Canada YouTube channel.
Advertising Agency: Red Urban Canada
Creative Director: Christina Yu
Copywriter: Matt Syberg-Olsen, Jon Taylor
Art Director: Damian Simev, Liam Johnstone
Year: 2011


One Comment on “Volkswagen Beetle – Juiced Up”

  1. Karen says:

    I remember this campaign. It’s nice to see a Toronto advertising agency taking cool risks like this.


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