Screencap from a video promoting VW's new magazine, DAS.Enlarge Photo
No matter how you feel about Steve Jobs or Apple or all things "i", there's no denying that the iPad has -- like the iPhone and the iPod before it -- created a sensation. Apple clearly understands the purpose of netbooks (which is more than other gadget-makers can say), and its engineers have wrapped up that purpose in a neat, pretty, intuitive package that any grandmother can use. In the process, Apple has knocked other promising products like Kindle out of the way, and it's handed the tablet market a real identity of its own. Given that, and given the iPad's book-like size, it's not surprising that print publications have taken to it like ducks to water, or that automakers like Volkswagen would begin publishing there. And so: behold DAS.
Digital Automotive Space, or DAS. (yes, apparently the period is part of the name), is a magazine for VW owners and enthusiasts. It launches later this month as a free app in the Apple App Store, with new content published quarterly in five different languages. Using the iPad, DAS. will include games and other elements that would be difficult if not impossible to incorporate into a print publication -- not to mention tools like 360° walkarounds that will give shoppers and enthusiasts new tools to research future rides.
On the social media angle -- and of course, everything has a social media angle these days -- VW says that it will also launch an online version of DAS., which will feature full social media integration. We're not sure exactly what that means yet, but we'd wager that at a minimum, readers will be able to share articles and game scores with friends and followers across Facebook and Twitter.
Here's a video overview of the new magazine in action, as narrated by Luca de Meo, Head of Marketing for Volkswagen Passenger Cars. Below it, you'll find the official press release, complete with hilariously empty marketing buzzphrases, like "Our goal is to transmit the fascination of the brand and its products in a new digital dimension, creating a global experience." Happy Tuesday.
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Wolfsburg, 28 May 2010 - Volkswagen is the first automaker to develop a digital customer magazine as an app specially for the iPad. The innovative digital product which goes by the name of DAS. lines up in good time for the launch of the new Apple product in Europe. The title stands for “Digital Automotive Space”. The magazine will be published quarterly in five languages and will be accessible throughout Europe.
"DAS. is an important building block in Volkswagen’s digital marketing strategy and gives us the opportunity for an interactive dialog with our customers. Our goal is to transmit the fascination of the brand and its products in a new digital dimension, creating a global experience," Luca de Meo, Head of Marketing at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said at the launch of the iPad app.
The app specially developed for the iPad transforms the user into a player who can enjoy the magazine’s themes in an innovative virtual reality using the familiar functions of the iPhone.
Five chapters tell stories from the Volkswagen world. Volkswagen makes comprehensive use of the iPad’s digital potential. The 360° images, for example, give the user a realistic impression of technical features on the Volkswagen Touareg such as "Area View".
In addition, an internet version of DAS. will be published from the end of June. It will then also be possible to integrate content in social networks such as Facebook.