Volkswagen Promo, Case study THINK BLUE BEETLE by Publicis Ambience Mumbai, Publicis Communications Kuala Lumpur

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market India
Agency Publicis Ambience Mumbai
Agency Publicis Communications Kuala Lumpur
Chief Creative Officer Sonal Dabral
Creative Director Ranjit Sasidharan, Sreejith Kodoth.
Copywriter Ranjit Sasidharan
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Environmental PR
Advertiser: VOLKSWAGEN
Chief Creative Officer: Sonal Dabral (DDB Mudra)
Chief Operating Officer: Pratap Bose (DDB Mudra)
Vice President: Vikas Nowal (DDB Mudra)
Creative Director/Art: Sreejith Kodoth (DDB Mudra)
Creative Director/Copy: Ranjit Sasidharan (DDB Mudra)
Media placement: DIGITAL PR - FACE BOOK - 1st JAN - 7th FEB 2012
Media placement: Consumer PR - KALA GHODA, Auto Show, Mahim Crossway - 1st JAN - 7th FEB 2012
Media placement: TV - TIMES NOW & SAHARA MUMAI - 6th of January
Media placement: TV - ETV - 5th of February
Media placement: TV - IBN - 4th of February
Media placement: NEWS PAPER - HINDUSTAN TIMES - 4th and 6th of February
Media placement: NEWS PAPER - TIMES OF INDIA - 4th and 10th of February
Media placement: NEWS PAPER - MID DAY - 4th of February
Media placement: NEWS PAPER - BUSINESS STANDARD - 12th of February
Media placement: MAGAZINE - AUTO INDIA - March 2012

Summary of the Campaign
The Think Blue Beetle was Volkswagen India’s endeavour to reinforce their commitment to the environment, which among other things, manifests as numerous technological features their products employ to enhance their global sustainability agenda. The aim was to create a work of art out of industrial waste, to signify the importance of recycling, repurposing material and reducing the carbon footprint.

The theme of the exercise was Mukti (a form of Nirvana, a liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, by reusing the material after their primary purpose has been served).

We crafted the iconic shape of the VW Beetle from scratch, using only discarded material, industrial scrap, material left over from every manner of product consumption, such as parts of vehicles, building supplies, surplus materials and other so-called junk from various clean-up drives across the city, as well as visiting junkyards, scrap dealers and other sources.

This Beetle was christened the Think Blue Beetle, and was shown at major events across the country, in order to spread awareness of the steps taken by Volkswagen to promote sustainability, in a creative and engaging manner. A plaque accompanying the installation explained the company’s objective as well as the various measures it takes to for the environment. An engagement model was also involved, wherein viewers of the piece could get commemorative photographs with it, as reminders to incorporate Think Blue into their daily lives as well.

The Situation
While the environment features high on the list of CSR initiatives of most corporates, very few actually take any tangible measures to do anything about it.

On the other hand, Think Blue by Volkswagen is an action-based philosophy that has been designed to promote the brand’s key corporate objective of sustainability and environmental protection. The company’s commitment to the environment reflects in the various products and technologies introduced by them.

The Think Blue Beetle is an iconic representation of this action philosophy, using material that has been discarded, which was repurposed and transformed into a thing of lasting beauty.

Describe the situation, problem or opportunity that has elicited the need for this PR campaign

The Goal
Volkswagen have set their sights on developing vehicles that are smarter, more fuel efficient and pave the way for a sustainable future. Think Blue is a philosophy that embodies the goal of creating environmentally friendly products and solutions. It promotes a resource-efficient, eco-friendly way of living.

The aim of the Think Blue Beetle was to create a tangible representation of environmental crisis, in an easily recognised form that immediately cues Volkswagen and to generate awareness of the importance of a cleaner, more sustainable environment in a wide setting and a manner that was not preachy.

The Strategy
We decided to harness the garbage generated by the people of Mumbai and Delhi, and create a beautiful piece of art, which would force people to reflect on their daily lives and make a change in how they use material.

Just like how Volkwagen carries its commitment to the environment into its products, we wanted to translate the philosophy into tangible result-oriented measures.

The immediately recognisable form of the Volkswagen Beetle was proposed as the visual representation, and we created opportunities to ensure the installation got a wide audience while creating individual connects via Facebook and Twitter.

First we collected waste material through cleanliness drives at various places in Mumbai and New Delhi.

We then engaged an artist Haribabu Natesan, who specialises in creating art out of scrap, and commissioned a life-size rendition of the Volkswagen Beetle. This involved over 16 days of painstakingly sorting through the accumulated material, and creating a car using over 2,805 pieces of junk: discarded spark plugs, audio cassettes, typewriters, audio speakers, mobile phones, wire mesh, plastic bottles, etc.

The Beetle was unveiled at the Delhi T3 airport terminal, during the Auto Show 2012. A multimedia set-up was created, including an AV, a digital set-up connected the live location to Volkswagen’s micro-site and Facebook pages, customised photographs with visitors and promoters engaging people via an information plaque on the heritage of Volkswagen and Think Blue. A similar exercise was undertaken at the Kala Ghoda Arts festival in Mumbai.

Documented Results
The results of the Think Blue Beetle initiative was most satisfying.

Over 1165 Facebook ‘likes’. Over 1,100 commemorative photographs shared on the Facebook wall. Maximum recall for the installation among all projects at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (as per a dipstick survey conducted on site).

Becoming a major talking point all over India, the Think Blue Beetle made the headlines across 4 TV news channels, 11 newspapers, 48 websites and 7 magazines. It garnered a cumulative ad value estimated at R28,51,473, thus giving Indians an evocative example of the joys of recycling and smart usage of resources, principles central to Volkswagen’s Think Blue philosophy.