Volkswagen Case study BUILDING THE PEOPLE'S CAR by Proximity Beijing

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Industry Cars
Media Case study
Market China
Agency Proximity Beijing
Director Kenneth Bi
Art Director Wil Manning
Editor Nelson Quan
Released May 2013


Cannes Lions 2013
Branded content & entertaiment lions Branded Entertainment; Best use or integration of user-generated content Gold
Direct Lions Product & Service; Cars & Automotive Services Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Product & Service
Category: Cars & Automotive Services
Product/Service: AUTOMOTIVE
Brand Management: (Greenkern)
Post Producer: Joy Wang (Pixomondo)
Art Director: Wil Manning (Pixomondo)
Editor: Nelson Quan (Pixomondo)
AD: John Dietz (Pixomondo)
EP/Producer: Jan Heinze/Iva Modrah (Pixomondo)
DOP: Paul Morris/Jay Hubert ()
Director: Kenneth Bi ()
MD: Alex Csergo (Proximity China)
Accounts Team: Enko Von Arnim/Lorraine Zhang/Carolyn Yu/Olivia Ding (Proximity China)
Social Team: Tobias Bordal/Maggie Ge (Proximity China)
Project Manager: Catherine Liu (Proximity China)
Head Of IA: Cameron Rimington (Proximity China)
Agency Producer: Maureen Sherrard (Proximity China)
Designers: Sofia Lv/Sophie D'agostino (Proximity China)
Art Directors: Andy Li/Felipe Ferreira (Proximity China)
Copywriters: Derek Liu/Vivian Liu (Proximity China)
ACD: Daryl Villanueva/Flavio Visigal (Proximity China)
ECD: Georg Warga (Goodstein & Partners)
Describe the brief from the client
In 2011, Volkswagen launched the People’s Car Project to inspire the Chinese people to imagine the future of cars. We reached both new and existing car owners, and as a result, 30 million people submitted over 260,000 car ideas. As an epic conclusion to the project, and ultimately, to honor the people’s creativity, we had to take all their ideas and create one car.

Creative Execution

This campaign dramatically changed how Volkswagen interacts with its customers.
Audiences got to watch their ideas come to life in the “Building the People’s Car” 10-part online series. The series was also accompanied by the People’s Choice, a digital poll that invited viewers to vote for their favorite designs each episode. For the finale, Volkswagen unveiled the People’s Car at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
The People’s Car – the first car created by the people, for the people – became a call to the automotive industry to revolutionize how cars should be made in the future.

Creative Solution to the Brief/Objective.

Volkswagen created a 10-part online series where they invited the top automotive design students in China to compete and build the People’s Car. This was a collaboration between two design universities, Volkswagen’s Director of Design, leaders from various creative fields (a pop idol, a filmmaker, and a fashion designer). Every episode, the call-to-action “vote to influence the People’s Car design” fueled viewer participation and discussion.
Volkswagen unveiled the concept car – an MPV that seats 7 people – at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show. A commercial showcased how the people’s ideas integrated into the innovative features of the People’s Car.


The 10-part online series averaged 1.2 million viewers per episode, boosting the rate of new followers on social media by 300%.* The People’s Car became a top 10 trending topic on Weibo (China’s Twitter).** As a result, Volkswagen purchase intent increased by 18%.*
The People’s Car was the first Volkswagen created by the people of China. With 260,000 user ideas inspiring its final design, the People’s Car became the biggest crowdsourced product in history.***
* Source: PCP User Database Report, 2013
** Source: Sina Weibo Daily Trending Topics Ranking, Feb 27th, 2013
*** Source: T+D Reporting and Analytics