Automotive: Proximity London for Volkswagen | DMA

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Automotive: Proximity London for Volkswagen


Silver Automotive

How did the campaign make a difference? The new 21st-Century Beetle was modern and sporty-looking – revamped for a younger, more male audience. For the launch Volkswagen had to prove that the iconic original hadnʼt just been reinvented for today, but also captured its roots in spirit. The campaign placed the new car in iconic scenes from history, showing that despite the edgier design, the new carʼs spirit made it blend in seamlessly.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry? While the first Beetle defined its era, over time the Beetle had become associated with retro styling and the flower power of an older generation. The campaign needed to challenge the idea that the Beetle was cute and outdated, and get back to the modern soul of the original. Luckily the new 21st-Century Beetle was a different beast from its 1990s predecessor – it was sleeker, sportier and more masculine.

The campaign had to create and excite a new audience but the biggest proportion of sales always came from a heartland of loyal Beetle fans repurchasing, which meant it had to reach out and attract a new, younger breed of Beetle buyer, without alienating the loyal base. So the campaign went after the competition, using door drops to target postcodes with a high propensity of MINI drivers, and encouraging them to raise their hands.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life? The creative idea (New body, original soul) clearly conveyed how the latest model possessed the same playful Beetle spirit, but with edgier design and the latest modern technology. A selection of beautiful vintage postcards were door dropped – each of which showcased an iconic scene from the Beetleʼs past: 1960s surfers on a California beach, The Carnaby Street of the mods, and a pop art tribute. By weaving the new car seamlessly into the visuals, the team created something striking and impactful. Each postcard focused on a different aspect of the new car. Stunning typography borrowed from each eraʼs unique style while explaining the new carʼs superb technology. Copy was carefully crafted to appeal to both loyal Beetle fans and younger drivers.

Results The 1.5% response rate beat the target by 65%. Itʼs a great result for this medium when compared with the typical cross-industry door-drop response rate of 0.2%, and the 0.9% response rate the brand achieved with a prospecting insert for the Golf 7.The vintage postcards drove 1,083 brochure requests, 71 test drive requests, and 68 actual test drives.

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