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VW Polo 'Timeless Film Festival' experiential campaign

Agency: Touch DDB and DDB London

Client: Volkswagen

Touch DDB and DDB London have created a £1 million integrated campaign for the biggest ever Volkswagen retailer launch for the new Volkswagen Polo.

Polo’s Timeless Film Festival campaign broke at the end of September and targets women, a group that is traditionally difficult to entice into the showroom.

The aim of Polo’s Timeless Film Festival campaign is to launch the new Volkswagen Polo and celebrate the timeless design. It will run across several channels, including: radio, DM, POS, local press, email and cinema.

Each element will drive new and existing prospects to a dedicated website where users can vote to see their favourite film from ten classics to bring back to the big screen. The films include Grease, Top Gun, Atonement, Sex and the City The Movie, Bridget Jones, to name a few.

On the website users can register their details to receive two free cinema tickets to see the film that tops the poll at a screening in their local cinema, with 180 cinemas participating nationwide.

In addition, there is the opportunity to enter a competition to win a holiday to New York. The winner will also get a shopping spree, a tour to visit famous spots used in films such as Sex and the City, and free tickets to see Mamma Mia on Broadway.  Follow-up emails will then be sent out to all registered users with a count down to the screening, information as to when the free tickets should arrive in the post.

This campaign represents the greatest Volkswagen investment to date in a retailer launch of a new car. It will run for one month, culminating in the Polo’s Timeless Film Festival screening at the end of October. Not only will participants get two free cinema tickets, they will also receive a Volkswagen goody bag.

The campaign launches with POS cardboard cut-outs in participating cinemas and Volkswagen showrooms and a cinema ad. The ad features legendary movie voice over artist Redd Pepper. The shot opens with him stepping out of a Winnebago on a film set. He walks across the lot towards the new Polo.

A voice over says: “This is probably the most famous person in the movie business. For years we have enjoyed his performances and will continue to do so for many more to come, because just like the new Polo, he will endure the test of time.  Of course you might not know him to look at, but if he said something like…”

Redd Pepper stops and admires the new Polo and we realise the man is the movie voice over man as he says: “Polo’s Timeless Film Festival, coming to a cinema near you.” The voice over continues: “…you should recognise him.”

The eye-catching 6”x4” POS cardboard cut-out stands which will be placed in cinema foyers and Volkswagen showrooms. They will also hold a set of postcards, each featuring one of the different films and drive audiences to the website.  The Bridget Jones illustration features the iconic ‘big pants’ with a dry cleaning ticket on, whilst the Top Gun illustration is a pair of Ray Ban glasses with sellotape holding them together. The artwork will also be used in local press, in-cinema posters and leaflets.

A direct mail pack will also be sent out to existing Volkswagen prospects to dovetail with the launch of the campaign. The mailing will be in a Volkswagen envelope and contain a strip of movie film. The copy on it reads: ‘The End…or so you thought. See your favourite film again on the big screen for free.’  

he radio ads feature spoofs of the movie trailers. Redd Pepper’s iconic voice is used again to say: “This year, a film you’ve seen a million times already on DVD is coming to a cinema near you. But this time without the sulking boyfriend, your mum phoning in the middle of the love scene and an annoyingly loud washing machine on spin cycle.”

A second voice over continues: See your favourite film at the cinema again at Polo’s Timeless Film Festival. For your free tickets vote at The timeless new Polo from Volkswagen.” 

The campaign is themed to highlight the fact that the Volkswagen Polo is designed to stand the test of time, much like the films people can vote for, which are still popular today. The campaign specifically targets women 30-55 years’ old who have a long-standing connection with these movies.    

Touch DDB and DDB London were tasked to develop an integrated campaign and event to launch the Volkswagen Polo outside of the showroom. The aim is to engage the target group and create a local event with word-of-mouth around each retailer and allow Volkswagen to talk to customers about the car in a more intimate environment. 

John Langfield, business director at DDB London, said: “The Timeless Film festival combines the launch of car with something our audience love doing: going to the movies. We are confident that the event and the chance to see Tom Cruise playing Volleyball again will strike a chord with our audience.”

Claire Noble, Retailer Marketing Manager, at Volkswagen added: “The Timeless Film festival breaks the mould for retailer car launches and we are delighted that our network have acknowledged the need to do something different for this audience.”


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