Volkswagen Sweden Promotes 2012 Beetle Turbo With Real Bug Racing

Volkswagen Bug RunIt’s Pistol Pete and Retox Robert neck and neck coming into the final corner, but don’t look now folks here comes Shitty Bill!

No, that’s not the running commentary from an alternative Kentucky derby, but it could be how Jack and John call the final race of Volkswagen Sweden’s BugRun this Friday.

What’ the heck am I talking about? Well, to promote the 2012 Turbo Beetle, Volkswagen Sweden is hosting a series of races using Beetles. But, the racing won’t be done with cars, but with real live beetles.  The beetles used in the race are one of the most common species in the Swedish forests. They even have a full-time handler, Magnus Forsberg, who makes sure the bugs are comfortable and fed. After the completion of the final the beetles will be released exactly where they were found.

Each day 8 of the beetles will compete in qualifying rounds, with fastest bugs meeting in the final Friday.

Residents of Sweden and Denmark can even place a ‘real’ bet on their favorite bug using the popular betting site Bettson. Prizes for participants who score the most points by guessing winning bugs and their times include trips to Swedish Touring Car Races, an Arsenal game in London or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Bug Run was created by DDB Stockholm.



Volkswagen Netherlands Builds the Social Media Fanwagen for Facebook Fan

Volkswagen Fanwagen EditionVolkswagen Netherlands is going to build and give away the world’s most social car, and they’re asking their Facebook fans to select which classic Volkswagen; the Beetle or the T1, becomes the ‘VW Fanwagen’.

Each vehicle will feature a dashboard-mounted Feed-o-Matic that prints out the latest updates from your newsfeed; a ‘poke button’ (actually the horn) sits on the steering wheel and a manually updated relationship status indicator below the rear license plate that’ll keep other driver’s informed of your intentions.

Privacy settings are included in the form of window-curtains, a note pad enables instant updates that can be pinned to your (corkboard) wall. The car comes in Social Blue, Cool Comment Grey, Zuckerberg Silver and Winterkorn White (named after Dr. Winterkorn, VW CEO). Check out the Owner’s Manual for the T1 and Beetle yourselves.

The first vehicle that reaches 20,000 ‘Likes’ will become the Fanwagen (so far the T1 is leading the Beetle with 68% of the ‘likes’), and upon completion the first eligible participant (you have to be 18 and have a Dutch driver’s license) to claim the vehicle gets to drive it away.

The campaign was created by Dutch agency Achtung!

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Randy MathesonI am a Nova Scotia raised Creative Guy, currently Director of Emerging Media at Delvinia, a Digital Strategy & Customer Experience Design Firm in Toronto. I’m a huge fan of the creative use of digital technologies in social media, marketing, sports and entertainment. I use this blog to share the more interesting examples that I find. If you’re in need of a break, join me over at for a cocktail.

Volkswagen Canada Unleashes Out-of-Home AR Experiences for the New Beetle

Volkswagen Canada Beetle Augmented RealityIf you’re in Toronto over the next few weeks and you’re near Dundas Square, you’ll see large billboard advertising the launch of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. The displays come to life when viewed through an Augmented Reality iPhone app available at

When viewed through the AR app the tall billboard located to the west of Yonge Street opens up and a massive skateboard ramp pushes itself out of the building. A red VW Beetle speeds down the ramp and performs spins and tricks high in the air. It really is pretty cool when you see the ramp appearing above your head.

The smaller billboard located on the north-east corner of Yonge and Dundas will show a beetle ripping back and forth through the other signage above and around it, while a smaller transit shelter cracks up, revealing a deep tunnel and a beetle speeding directly toward the viewer.

All three OOH experiences are triggered not by an ugly marker but by an unobtrusive rectangle that fits in nicely with the existing creative. Instructions to download the app are clearly communicated on the billboard, and I like the use of a vanity URL being used to access the app store.

The creative is from Toronto’s Red Urban with animation by Bully! Entertainment. The technology is licensed comes from London-based AR innovator String.