Cannes Lions


DDB, Sydney / VOLKSWAGEN / 2013

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Flagship European automotive brand, Volkswagen, is seeking to become more relevant to Australians. As such, Volkswagen uses sponsorship of iconic Australian properties, including The Wiggles, to increase its familiarity and relevance to Australians.

The decision of the original Wiggles to retire after 21 years together presented a unique challenge to Volkswagen – how could the brand own the share of voice at this historic time and continue to build on the sponsorship to enhance its relevance to Australians?

Volkswagen’s primary objective was to leverage the partnership with The Wiggles to connect with Australians. Secondary to that, it was important to generate mass positive PR coverage for the brand.

What better way for Volkswagen to celebrate 21 years of the original Wiggles line-up with all of Australia, than allow everyday Aussies a chance to own one of The Wiggles’ longest standing assets, the Big Red Car: an iconic piece of Australian history. This would also pave the way to give the new line-up a new set of wheels.

To achieve all this, the Volkswagen Big Red Car was put up for auction on eBay with all funds going to SIDS and Kids.

Starting with a press ad for The Wiggles Farewell Tour program, outreach was undertaken to announce the auction three weeks prior to the live date, maintain momentum and then finally celebrate the outcome for SIDS and Kids.

In total, the campaign delivered over 108 million PR impressions and the auction raised $35,700 for SIDS and Kids.


To sustain awareness of Volkswagen’s auction of the Big Red Car beyond the 10-day auction, a five-week strategy was developed to deliver coverage Australia-wide.

Phase one coincided with the appearance of an advert in The Wiggles’ tour programme. This advert included, a phone number allowing Aussies to call through to a recorded message from The Wiggles.

Initial outreach delivered mass coverage, led by exclusives with News Ltd and The Today Show.

Phase two saw Volkswagen roll-out a regional media tour allowing outlets access to the vehicle, delivering coverage in each market. Auction milestone outreach was also undertaken as part of this phase.

To generate a final burst of coverage, the winning bid and new owner of the car were announced to media .

Throughout the campaign, YouTube content that featured The Wiggles and the vehicle complemented the PR activity. This was amplified through seeding which reached 100,000 Australians.


Australians interacted with Volkswagen in an unprecedented way, with the campaign generating more than 108 million PR impressions, over 55,000 unique visitors to the auction page and more than 100,000 views of the YouTube content.

Importantly, 90% of the coverage was Volkswagen branded with 100% positive toward the Volkswagen brand.

The campaign created significant engagement between Volkswagen and Australians but what makes this campaign truly special is the $35,700 raised for SIDS and Kids by the Volkswagen Big Red Car auction. This allowed the charity to roll-out a national online education package for health care professionals who deal with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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