Proximity Beijing Helps Volkswagen redefine car marketing with the people’s car project

Proximity Beijing is helping Volkswagen simultaneously get back to its roots and position itself for the future with The People’s Car Project.

A long-term, all-media initiative, the program promises to result in the development of new ideas in mobility, future car concepts, as well as enhancements to potentially all aspects of Volkswagen’s products and services; created entirely from ideas solicited from everyday people.


“Volkswagen literally means ‘the people’s car.’ From the iconic Beetle to the beloved Golf, we’ve listened to the people” said Paul Hu, Head of Volkswagen Brand Marketing China. “Now we’re once again redefining what it means to be a Volkswagen with The People’s Car Project.

We’re facilitating a new dialogue through an interactive cross-media platform, engaging people with content to inspire, tools to create and personalize, and environments where they can discuss design, share innovative ideas, and connect with each other to create collective visions for what a car should be; created by the people, for the people.”

“As a car lover, there’s nothing more exciting than redefining an iconic brand like Volkswagen for the future,” says Georg Warga, Executive Creative Director at Goodstein & Partners who is leading the creative charge at Proximity. “With all the technology we have today — from social media tools to 3D-modeling software — we can truly give this brand over to the people and let them make it what they want it to be.” It was this pitch that got Volkswagen executives excited almost one year ago and, after vetting several potential partners, landed both Mr. Warga and Volkswagen at Proximity, which built its new Beijing office from scratch to execute the plan.

“Social media and crowdsourcing are today’s dominant buzz-words – but the vast majority of such programs are tactical and fragmented – a blog here, a fan-page there, a dialog program somewhere else,” said Devin Beringer, Strategy Director for Proximity China. “The People’s Car Project combines all the new and the traditional tools of marketing with the core principles of relationship marketing. It is perhaps the first true social CRM program”.

A team of cross media experts has been recruited from around the globe to execute the project; which includes a web-based platform, direct social media integration into many of the major networks in China, an online series, augmented reality and location based mobile applications, events and experiences, as well as TV, Print, and out of home campaigns.

“We’ve built an agency that doesn’t just talk about holistic solutions, but actually delivers them. With Volkswagen, we have a partner that has allowed us to work on a very deep level, across almost all departments from marketing and PR, to IT, and product development.” says David Hunt, Managing Director, Proximity China.

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