Beetle’s Augmented Reality OOH

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Volkswagen is focusing on performance – a new direction for the Beetle – with an innovative campaign to launch the 2012 Beetle in Canada.

Innovation has always been a hallmark of the car’s personality, so Volkswagen Canada, based in Ajax, Ontario, and Toronto advertising agency, Red Urban, agreed that innovation must also mark the vehicle’s marketing effort for the vehicle’s launch.

To that end, much of the Beetle’s out-of-home advertising in Toronto and Vancouver offers an enhanced experience, using augmented reality, a technology that allows people to use mobile devices such as SmartPhones, iPhones etc. to see animations on the advertising that are triggered by markers embedded in the ads themselves.

The augmented reality animations can be seen on gigantic Clear Channel 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,” says Bruce Rosen, director, marketing and communications, Volkswagen Canada.

Steve Carli, Red Urban president, says, “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 Has been running since from September 26, ending October 30 in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In addition, an online digital campaign will run from Oct. 26—to-Nov. 26. The free app can be downloaded here, and people can experience the AR at home through the ‘Volkswagen Beetle. Beetle. Juiced Up.’ video on the Volkswagen Canada YouTube channel.

Creative director at Red Urban is Christina Yu. Production is by Pixel Pusher and animation/design by Bully! Entertainment.

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