Volkswagen Up: Newspaper app

It’s one of those things when you feel like there’s something there but not enough to get you going.

The Objective

The challenge is to increase awareness on Volkswagen’s new model, “Up” using a very traditional medium, the newspaper.

The client wanted something engaging and interactive which was particularly difficult to do on something that’s so traditional and one-dimensional like a newspaper.

The Tactic

It’s hard to introduce a technological innovation on a very traditional medium. They went for Augmented Reality and QR Code to save them.

When readers scan a QR code printed on the newspaper using their phone, they will see the new Up driving on the newspaper’s gutter space.

Is it Worth It?

It’s one of those things when you know there seems to be something there but the potential was not explored deep enough and extensively enough for the objectives to be met.

The Payoff. There’s nothing there for me to get after doing what they want me to do. So I scan the QR Codes and watch the car drive through the gutter. So, what? For other campaigns, the pay off seems fun enough and amazing enough to satisfy me even when I don’t “actually” get anything after doing what they want me to do.

The Unique Selling Proposition. After watching the car drive on the gutter, it really does not tell me what sets the car apart from other cars. I don’t know what’s new it and what I will get out of the new car that I will never get from other cars. The whole activity does not speak of the product.

I’ve Seen it All. There’s nothing new with the concept. We’ve all seen a campaign that required us to scan a QR code to allow us to view something else. This campaign does the same thing but it fails to present something different.


It is not a bad campaign and it is not a bad idea but the execution falls short. It would have been nice if they incorporate something new and if they took on a concept that would represent the selling point of the new mode.


Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.

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