Turning Cars Into Amps And Other Rabbit Tricks

When product design is a priority and a growth engine for a company, an advertiser’s job becomes a cakewalk, for the designs sell themselves. iPod is one such creation, so is the VW Bug.
I get the feeling VW designers like to ask themselves, “What is a car?” Their answer is clearly, “More than a transportation device.”
In VW’s latest turn, the vehicle is now a license to perform. It’s the driver’s very own stage, with a built in amplifier and guitar in the trunk. Having seen many a VW in many a Grateful Dead parking lot, I can only imagine what this design twist would have meant to tourheads twenty or thirty years ago (not that there aren’t parking lot scenes today).
VW teamed up with Boston axe maker, First Act, to bring this promotion/design idea to life.
From the press release:

Owners of new VW models can transform their cars into mobile amps, with a newfound freedom to rock in the driveway, play at outdoor parties, or shred in the beach parking lot. New rockers will hit the road with a First Act GarageMaster guitar in the trunk, ready to stop and dispense riffs wherever the mood strikes.

The promotion also support’s Apple’s Garage Band podcasting program, at Vdubsrock.com, where tracks are made available for mashups. This piece has Jeff Benjamin’s fingerprints all over it.
My hat’s off to all involved on this one. Agencies and clients alike love to pay lip service to integrated marketing, but few actually achieve it. This campaign is textbook integrated marketing, hitting on all cylinders.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.