Volkswagen: Beetle spirit

Proximity London

The team

Jo Jenkins, Nick Moffat, Nick Hurst, Dan Wilkinson, Kristine Potter, Neeta Norton, Jo Powell, Alex Lamb.

How did the campaign make a difference?

The new 21st-Century Beetle was modern and sporty-looking – revamped for a younger, more male audience. For the launch Volkswagen had to prove that the iconic original hadn't just been reinvented for today, but also captured its roots in spirit. The campaign placed the new car in iconic scenes from history, showing that despite the edgier design, the new car's spirit made it blend in seamlessly.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

While the first Beetle defined its era, over time the Beetle had become associated with retro styling and the flower power of an older generation. The campaign needed to challenge the idea that the Beetle was cute and outdated, and get back to the modern soul of the original. Luckily the new 21st-Century Beetle was a different beast from its 1990s predecessor – it was sleeker, sportier and more masculine. The campaign had to create and excite a new audience but the biggest proportion of sales always came from a heartland of loyal Beetle fans repurchasing, which meant it had to reach out and attract a new, younger breed of Beetle buyer, without alienating the loyal base. So the campaign went after the competition, using door drops to target postcodes with a high propensity of MINI drivers, and encouraging them to raise their hands.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?