In session with Abbey Road Studios
THE BRIEF – Appeal to men with the relaunch of the third generation Beetle
The original Volkswagen Beetle is one of the most iconic cars of all time. The second-generation model had damaged the car’s appeal – seen as a car for girls, it even had a built-in flower vase in the dashboard. Our challenge was to relaunch the third generation Beetle, re-establishing its appeal to a male target audience – we needed to get back to the rock’n’roll spirit of the Beetle’s heyday.
OUR IDEA – ‘Abbey Road Studios – In Session With Volkswagen Beetle’
The Beetle is on the cover of one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded – Abbey Road by the Beatles. This iconic image and album confirmed Abbey Road Studios as one of the most important places in music history. Our target audience of middle-aged men enjoys classic rock and is fascinated by rock heritage, while keeping a keen interest in new bands. The scene was set.
We created a partnership with Abbey Road Studios designed to recall the Beetle’s 60’s associations, while also conveying a sense of contemporary cool. The partnership featured stellar musical talent and spanned live events, digital content and social media. The centrepiece of our campaign was an 8-part TV series shown on Channel 4 called Abbey Road Studios: In Session With Volkswagen Beetle. Each episode featured music performances from one established artist and one up-and-coming group. This reflected both the eclectic musical taste of our audience and the new Beetle’s link with the past.
A unique promo ad for the launch show featured Paul Weller recreating the famous Beatles cover on the crossing and the new Beetle in exactly the same spot as the old one (what one commentator called ‘time travel product placement’).
We built anticipation using a Spotify competition to win tickets to see Weller’s session in the world famous Studio One. To enter the competition users added a track to our ‘VW Beetle Iconic tracks’ playlist.
THE RESULT – We beat our targets, selling £30m worth of Beetles
Over 1 million people watched our TV series, with more than 5 million views on YouTube. Key brand metrics improved significantly amongst viewers but most importantly we sold 2,000 Beetles – over £30m in sales value.