Hey, Soccer Fans: Volkswagen Wants To Make You A Star

June 4, 2010
Volkswagen ad for the 2010 World Cup

Volkswagen ad for the 2010 World Cup

VW's Facebook promotion for the 2010 World Cup

VW's Facebook promotion for the 2010 World Cup

Soccer continues to grow in popularity in the U.S., and this summer's World Cup will benefit from some of the heaviest live coverage the sport has seen on American airwaves. Volkswagen is hoping to get in on the action with a new social media campaign aimed at rooting out U.S. soccer junkies. Just upload a video proving that you're a fan -- or fanatico -- and you could be on your way to semi-stardom in a new VW commercial.

The campaign is fairly simple and straightforward: soccer enthusiasts visit Volkswagen's Facebook page, where they can upload videos of themselves getting face-painted and freaky in the name of fútbol. Those videos then go into a queue, where other Facebook members can "like" them and share them with friends. According to some verbiage on the site, "The winning videos will be chosen amongst the most voted videos in the Volkswagen fan page on Facebook and will be selected at the sole discretion of Volkswagen of America, Inc." Translation: the most-liked clips will probably win, but your chances may be improved by adding a few models in the background. While Tom Brady's busy playing flag football, perhaps you could draft Giselle into duty.

And what's the prize for winning? We're not entirely sure. According to VW's Facebook page, "The videos with the most votes could appear in a Volkswagen TV commercial airing during the World Championship." On the other hand, VW's press release says that "several lucky winners will be chosen to appear on a prime-time Volkswagen television commercial to air on Univision during the World Cup". So it's not clear whether Volkswagen plans to broadcast users' original video clips or create a brand new commercial starring the winning fans. Either way, we suggest sprucing up a bit before turning on the videocamera -- just in case that's your final take.

Volkswagen has been a longtime sponsor of World Cup broadcasts on Univision -- which isn't surprising, given soccer's immense popularity in Spanish-speaking countries. At a time when many automakers are reining in ad spending for Hispanic and African American shoppers, this is a good way for Volkswagen to do some outreach (even if the contest format isn't especially groundbreaking).

Apart from the user-generated commercial, other VW ads will run throughout the World Cup broadcast. Here's one of those, featuring a number of VW models like the CC, the Passat, and the ever-popular Golf. If you've got nothing better to do on a Friday, you might also mull over the differences in VW's print ads for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking audiences, above. (For example, why do Spanish-speaking soccer moms get nifty Touaregs, while their English-speaking counterparts get stuck with the Routan?) And of course, feel free to peruse the press release at the bottom of the page, too.

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Volkswagen Drives World Cup Fever By Giving Soccer Fans A Once In A Lifetime Chance To Be Featured In National TV Spot

Volkswagen Teams Up with Soccer Legends Ramon Morales and Ramon Ramirez to Urge Soccer "Fanaticos" to Showcase their Fandom for Shot at Stardom

HERNDON, Va., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a nationwide contest calling on soccer "fanaticos" to express their passion for the game for a chance to win an appearance in a national TV spot during the World Cup.  As a long time global supporter of soccer and sponsor of Univision's broadcast of the World Cup, Volkswagen, together with soccer legends "Ramoncito" Morales, former captain of Chivas de Guadalajara and Ramon Ramirez, one of the best players in the history of Mexican soccer, are encouraging soccer fans to create and upload their own "fanistitial" videos documenting their passion for soccer.   Beginning today, consumers can upload videos to the Volkswagen Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/vw, where several lucky winners will be chosen to appear on a prime-time Volkswagen television commercial to air on Univision during the World Cup.

"With its immense popularity among various cultures, the World Cup provides the ultimate global stage to further engage our customers, expand our reach, and support our aggressive growth strategy," said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc.  "The passion fans have for soccer is unparalleled, and this gives us a unique opportunity to reward them for their support."

In addition to the user generated ad, Volkswagen will air a series of vignettes and three :30 television commercials during the World Cup, each also aiming to increase familiarity and consideration for the Volkswagen brand and its breadth of models.  One of the spots, titled "Flags," will feature fans driving different Volkswagen models while prominently displaying each of their nations' flags with pride.  Each spot communicates the various types of fans in the world and that there is a different Volkswagen model for each of them.  Volkswagen will also have a significant bilingual digital presence on Facebook, Yahoo en Espanol and MSN Latino, as well as grassroots efforts at dealerships, MLS games and community soccer tournaments throughout the U.S.

Globally, Volkswagen has been a long time supporter of soccer.  The brand is the title sponsor of Volkswagen arena in Wolfsburg and owns the VFL Wolfsburg football club at its global headquarters.  Volkswagen of America is the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer (www.mlsnet.com) and is a title sponsor of D.C. United.  The brand will also continue its grassroots soccer tour, with a 19-city mobile marketing tour showcasing Volkswagen's product family at local youth soccer tournaments.  

For more information on Volkswagen, visit media.vw.com.  For more information on the World Cup Initiative or to upload your own "fanistitial" video please visit www.facebook.com/vw.

[Volkswagen, Facebook]

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