Cannes Lions

CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP

PALM PUBLICITE MARKETING, Montreal / VOLKSWAGEN / 2002

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Overview

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Overview

Description

Sponsorship of the event negotiated by the agency, PALM Publicite Marketing, included high visibility for Volkswagen in the festival communication plan (targeted television and print campaigns, movie thriller, poster, brochures, etc.). It was a priority for the agency to leverage the visibility inherent to the sponsorship with non-traditional media placements, in a manner that reflected the spirit of the event. Consequently, the main objective of the campaign was to develop never-seen media executions while keeping a non-commercial edge, in line with both the festival and the brand positioning.Traditioinally, the festival has attracted a crowd of movie lovers, cultural trend-setters and new technology enthusiasts. The media campaign aimed at reaching a broader yet qualified audience, and at providing those first-timers with a unique brand experience.Another objective of the campaign was to invite consumers to visit Volkswagen's website. Finally, the media campaign had to reinforce Volkswagen's association to the worlds of culture and technology - two strong aspects of the brand's essence.The media plan was developed in order to answer to these specific communication challenges. During the festival, six PIXMAN, including five equipped with digital screens attached to their hats and one equipped with a mobile projector, hit the streets of Montreal during lunchtime and at various cultural events. They targeted the trendiest and busiest districts of the city, promoting the festival and Volkswagen's support to the event. The mobility of the PIXMAN made it a surprising, cutting-edge and truly interactive medium while still reflecting the spirit of the event. The PIXMAN met the target group in unexpected public places, which allowed to broaden the reach of the campaign.On behalf of Volkswagen, the agency also negotiated a partnership with KINO, an independent group of talented young film directors. The agency selected a series of short films (maximum of two minutes) from KINO, and the chosen films were then shown on vw.com/cinema and through the PIXMAN, thus providing to these promising artists their first visibility against a broad public.The agency also produced a website to further leverage the support to the festival. On top of presenting KINO short-movies, the site allowed visitors to create their own movies by selecting plots, sequences and background music. The micro-site was promoted via a Web banner campaign on cultural and cinema-dedicated websites. Given the exponential growth of Web impressions, it is nearly impossible to dominate online by capitalising merely on buying volume. Therefore, we decided to aim at perceptually dominating through innovation and creativity. The challenge was to be impactful while remaining non-intrusive to the Volkswagen's Internet users, which have proved to be highly critical when faced with aggressive advertising. Moreover, we wanted to be relevant to the festival's philosophy, which was against a "too commercial" approach. We therefore decided to develop a mix of dominant skyscraper banners and standard 468 x 60 banners. This mix allowed to create impact while remaining true to the brand identity.Finally, the media mix included use of vertical outdoor advertising in order to broaden the reach of the campaign. As part of this outdoor campaign, a gigantic director's chair was posted outside of the Ex-Centris. The chair symbolised the support of Volkswagen while being truly integrated to the splendid architecture of the building. The vertical boards showed the director's chair icon, thus creating an integral and efficient outdoor campaign. The 30th edition of Montreal's International Festival of New Cinema and New Media experienced unprecedented success. The media strategy developed to support Volkswagen's sponsorship of the festival not only allowed to attract a broader audience, but it also created a unique and memorable brand experience. At the end, the media plan contributed to transcend the sponsorship of the event.The media team distinguished itself by implementing a new and unique media concept: the PIXMAN, a new generation of mobile digital media and modern incarnation of the sandwich board men. On October 12, the PIXMAN were launched in the streets of downtown Montreal - a world premiere! The same idea was later used to launch Xbox in Quebec.The biggest media challenge was to dominate St-Laurent Street, the heart of Montreal's nightlife and home of the festival. On an advertising standpoint, St-Laurent is unique: while being the trendiest street in town, it offers very few - if any - advertising opportunities. PALM's Media team therefore decided to transform Ex-Centris, a cinema complex located in the heart of St-Laurent Street into a bigger-than-life medium. Transforming this building requested negotiation with Ex-Centris' managerial team and the municipal legal entities. In 2001, Montreal's International Festival of New Cinema and New Media celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Volkswagen's support to the event greatly contributed to the year's unprecedented success. Propelled by Volkswagen, the festival attracted 73,000 movie-lovers - a record! - while keeping its non-conformist personality; 85% of the festival visitors identified Volkswagen as the principal sponsor of the event. Over 500 articles on the events were aired by the electronic and print press. Moreover, the campaign was granted with additional exposure through word-of-mouth.Finally, the campaign succeeded at reflecting the brand and festival identity: "avant-gardist", non-commercial, and intrinsically innovative.

Execution

The 30th edition of Montreal's International Festival of New Cinema and New Media experienced unprecedented success. The media strategy developed to support Volkswagen's sponsorship of the festival not only allowed to attract a broader audience, but it also created a unique and memorable brand experience. At the end, the media plan contributed to transcend the sponsorship of the event.The media team distinguished itself by implementing a new and unique media concept: the PIXMAN, a new generation of mobile digital media and modern incarnation of the sandwich board men. On October 12, the PIXMAN were launched in the streets of downtown Montreal - a world premiere! The same idea was later used to launch Xbox in Quebec.The biggest media challenge was to dominate St-Laurent Street, the heart of Montreal's nightlife and home of the festival. On an advertising standpoint, St-Laurent is unique: while being the trendiest street in town, it offers very few - if any - advertising opportunities. PALM's Media team therefore decided to transform Ex-Centris, a cinema complex located in the heart of St-Laurent Street into a bigger-than-life medium. Transforming this building requested negotiation with Ex-Centris' managerial team and the municipal legal entities.

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