Volkswagen Golf GTI Adidas EditionEnlarge Photo
Apps for cars are hot, hot, hot, so when Volkswagen announced the winners of its "App My Ride" contest, we were eager to check out the results. Unfortunately, our excitement was very short-lived.
The top apps aren't nearly as interesting as others we've seen -- particularly those developed for the Ford Fiesta. The winner, "DUDE", was totally confusing in its online form, and the second-place finisher wasn't any better. (It also dissed Fiat in the app instructions, which maybe isn't the thing to do when you're trying to convince Fiat to sell you one of its brands.) In third place, "Tweet Map, Heat Map of Conversations" might be the most dangerous app we've ever seen.
Thankfully, there's other news from Volkswagen that's much more interesting. Not surprisingly, it comes from the company's marketing arm, which has has been knocking 'em out of the park the past few months, particularly where the Golf is concerned.
The news comes in the form of a new Canadian campaign for the Golf, based around a nifty microsite, VWSundayDrive.ca. The site encourages visitors to remember the Sunday drives of their youth, when familes would pile into the car -- usually after Sunday dinner -- and go sightseeing.
And this is where Volkswagen demonstrates how well it understands its target market. For people in the youngish Golf demographic, Sunday drives were terrible ordeals. Who wanted to spend their precious weekend hours jammed in the back of an Oldsmobile station wagon when they could've been blowing up Barbie dolls or getting muddy or sleeping? Volkswagen aims to show visitors the Weekends That Could Have Been been by having them remix the Sunday drive.
On the site, you're motoring down a neverending stretch of green, two-lane highway, as a scratchy, antique recording of Gershwin's "S'Wonderful" whistles from the stereo. Press one of eight buttons, and effects drop in, like backbeats and echoes. Do a little scratching on the turntable, and you can unlock a couple of special sights. It's a little like playing Fallout 3, but with a mixing board instead of a pulse rifle.
If you bang out an especially good mix, you can let your friends listen in. Just click "Share" at the bottom of the screen, and you can send a link to your new hip hopera to Facebook and Twitter.
Rack another one up for Volkswagen and the Golf. Now if the company's marketing team would just take over app development, we could all relax.
Advertising Agency: Red Urban, Toronto, Canada
Production Company: Palm+Havas, Monteal