2013 Digital PR Awards: Blog

Winner: Edelman Digital - Why VW: Volkswagen's Storytelling Platform

Volkswagen is an iconic brand, and just about everyone has a personal VW story. Volkswagen also has a very dedicated and vocal online community of owners and enthusiasts—in fact, 80% of its Facebook audience consists of current or former owners and there are more than 4,800 engagements on Volkswagen’s owned social properties daily.

With this in mind, Edelman wanted to create a place where those enthusiasts could share their stories about the brand and cars that they have invested their time, energy and money into ever since Volkswagen imported its first Beetle to the United States in 1949. Edelman also wanted to create a destination where prospective owners could go to learn more about what makes Volkswagen special from the people who already own and love one, so that they too might eventually join the Volkswagen family.

To accomplish these objectives, Edelman developed “Why VW,” a social media-based storytelling platform that enables Volkswagen owners and enthusiasts to share their VW experiences—and explore those contributed by others—within a branded environment. It's hosted on both VW.com and within the VW Facebook page and allows Volkswagen to tap into the strong passions of their fanbase.

To inspire visitors, Edelman sourced five videos (on the Why VW platform) through collaboration with the PopTent creative community, featuring real-life Volkswagen owners and enthusiasts talking about their love for their cars.

Since all of this content can be shared and liked within the platform, VW has been able to recognize its “super users” for contributing content and has rewarded them with incentives such as free event tickets, VW DriverGear and other special prizes. This further forges a relationship between Volkswagen and their biggest fans.

Since its launch in September 2012, Why VW has received over 1,300 user stories and more than 2.8 million page views from over 720,000 unique visitors. Edelman will use the stories that have been harvested from this program to create transmedia stories for media outreach to automotive and lifestyle magazines.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan - “An Apple a Day” in a Digital World: Michigan Blues Builds Healthy Relationships With Consumers Through AHealthierMichigan.org
  • Cone Communications - Prove Your Purpose Raises the Bar in CSR Thought Leadership
  • Esurance - The Esurance Blog: Insurance Tips, Tricks, & Insights
  • General Electric - Txchnologist
  • Klick Health and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company - OncologyVoice
  • Shift Communications
  • USANA Health Sciences - What’s Up USANA?