|VW VISIT THE ROAD
|C07. Customer Acquisition & Retention
TWENTY Copenhagen, DENMARK
TWENTY Copenhagen, DENMARK
OMD DENMARK Copenhagen, DENMARK
TWENTY Copenhagen, DENMARK
|Lise Skakkebæk Larsen
Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
We knew giving a whole new generation their first taste of VW California and capturing the imagination of those who remember the original was going to take more than an ad. To make it the ultimate travel experience we needed to place it in contemporary culture – one that has, paradoxically, made travelling freely significantly harder.
Denmark has introduced fines preventing people from sleeping outside official camping sites. By once again allowing people to experience the car as it was intended, we enabled a cultural phenomenon to transcend generations, and in turn, placed Volkswagen firmly in the nation's hearts.
In the ‘60s, the iconic VW camper van popularised the Road Trip. How could its modern, younger brother; Volkswagen California, revitalise the brand as a symbol for freedom and own up to its legacy?
Since its iconic rise to fame in the '60s, Volkswagen California has been the most liberating way to travel - no destination, only adventure on the horizon. But in 2013, Denmark, like most of Europe, restricted overnight stops to official camping sites, making it virtually impossible to live the road trip dream that made the camper van famous in the first place.
With a clear objective: increase traffic to the website and price list downloads – the strongest indicators of purchase intent in the category – we set out to cement VW California as the ultimate symbol for freedom in a category that was becoming more and more competitive.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
For three years in a row, VW has together with landowners, created 12 overnight stays – each with its own unique features – by private lakes and down usually inaccessible roads surrounded by wildlife and spectacular views. Bookable for free through a digital booking system, the Stays are made available to everyone with a VW California - owned, rented or borrowed. Whether star gazing in a romantic magical forest or waking up to waves crashing against dramatic cliffs tickles your fancy, Volkswagen enables it.
Then, collecting the knowledge of the passionate community we created a crowdsourced map with hidden gems along the road, sharing the wisdom of the crowd in a social media campaign that enabled even more people to discover what the road had to offer, and the opportunities a VW California brings.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
We set out to position VW California not as a vehicle, but a holiday mode – far superior to any hotel room, with guaranteed 360 views, breakfast in bed and no check-out.
We used community research to pinpoint barriers and built our creative approach on the symbol that bore the strongest social currency – unique experiences no one else had access to. With this springboard into cultural discourse, leveraging the rise of staycation propelled by recent global events, we created a shareable branded experience that would be become a permanent value-add.
Visit the Road is a long-term brand initiative enhancing the value of the VW camper van by removing barriers to fully enjoying it. By resolving pain-points, we've enabled the VW camper community to experience the product as it was intended, in turn elevating the experience of the brand itself and the value it can bring to people's lives.
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
Based on the insight that the best retention and recruitment strategy adds value to the core product, the initiative centres the loyal van community that made VW California the brand it is today. By announcing the initiative exclusively to a closed Facebook community of California owners and newsletter subscribers, we allowed the most loyal fans first priority, before opening to the public, supported by a cross-channel digital campaign.
For those without a VW California, we created a nomination platform where those who hadn’t yet experienced the magic of VW California could win a unique stay at one of our ‘Dreamers’ spots, complete with custom picnic hampers and a VW California to explore - just like it was intended, with nothing but your imagination to set the limit. In a year where many have been stuck at home, we were able to give 10 lucky winners an experience for life.
List the results (30% of vote)
The initiative has the primary objective of generating value for the community, to drive loyalty and in turn recruit new drivers. The Stays were popular beyond our imagination, booking up within hours of going live, and creating demand all the way down in the dealerships where the initiative has become a product value-add, swaying speculative buyers.
The campaigns have increased traffic to the website with 211%, with the initiative generating over 12 million social media impressions.
Pricelist downloads tripled from 9600 a year to an impressive 30.000, which ultimately has led to an increase in sales by 81%.
The initiative made headlines in all major Danish news publications, generating 1544% ROI in earned media over the last three years. The overwhelming response transformed what started as a brand activation into a returning brand initiative with clear business results.