Fanwagen – “The Most Social Car Ever” From VolkswagenWritten by David Brbaklic / Featured in: Automotive / 07.11.2011.
“Made by fans, built on likes”.
This is the slogan of a new campaign from Volkswagen that combines its iconic models the Beetle and T1 campervan with the more and more present social media frenzy. It is an online campaign featured on Facebook in which VW is presenting its fans a possibility to take part in building a car “full of unexpected social features”. It is dubbed VW Fanwagen and is signed by Achtung, an agency based in the Netherlands.
By going to the VW Netherlands official Facebook page, visitors are presented with the choice of voting for either the Beetle or T1. The model that first collects 20,000 votes (T1 is leading having collected 14,000 votes in contrary to Beetle’s 7,000) is going to get redone, “Pimp my ride” style. According to the Terms & Conditions, “from the moment that a Volkswagen model is chosen, Volkswagen will construct this model or arrange for it to be constructed. Within 3 days of the winning model having been constructed, a link (a ‘Claim Button’) will be placed on the Volkswagen fan page, and the participant who first clicks on the Claim button is the winner.”
The most lucky / quickest voter will win the redesigned “Fanwagen”. The redesign’s theme is Facebook and its features such as the news feed, relationship status, chat, privacy settings, and photo sharing, which all will be incorporated into the car’s interior. For example, a device called Feed-O-Matic capable of printing the owners most recent news will be built into the dashboard, a relationship status updater mounted as a part of the license plate, a “poke button” into the steering wheel, etc. The exterior will be painted in Facebook’s main colors which are all given funny names to: Social Blue, Cool Comment Grey, Zuckerberg Silver and Winterkorn White. Just to get a general idea what the car will look like, take a look into the car’s manual (.pdf), or watch a short video the agency has made for the campaign:
The Facebook app, the video, and the campaign in general all have a really appealing, retro look to them in a graphic sense, and are accompanied by a catchy piano melody with an old-fashioned gramphone tone, which I find very commendable. In my opinion, the agency has found a really nice way to incorporate the social media into VW’s heritage, and vice versa. The things I find a bit unfair, though, is that the T1 model has been given a slight advantage along the way, as all the illustrations of the redesign are done for the campervan and not the Beetle, an the fact that the campaign is limited to the Netherlands only. So for us from the rest of the world, unfortunately the only thing left is dreaming about driving a Social Blue, Cool Comment Grey, Zuckerberg Silver and Winterkorn White VW classic.