Volkswagen lets the dog out for interactive execution

Who: Volkswagen Canada and DDB Canada

What: An interactive billboard that continues the automaker’s 4Motion All-Wheel Drive campaign

When/Where: The interactive boards are appearing in Toronto’s Metro Centre and Royal Bank Plaza, and Montreal’s Gare Central, through Dec. 23.

How: People use a series of gestures to interact with one of the reluctant sled dogs featured in the Volkswagen commercial (below). The boards utilize motion sensor technology to recognize four predetermined gesture commands (demonstrated at the bottom of the screen). The gestures are interpreted by custom software and trigger video playback showing the dog responding to the person’s gesture.

The message: VW is selling the enhanced control that comes with its all-wheel drive. In the TV spot, the main character discovers that when his huskies would rather stay in and watch The Littlest Hobo than go out in the winter, his VW 4Motion SUV gets him around on the snowy mountain roads in total control. With the interactive billboard the total control message is brought to life by the person giving directions to the husky on the screen.  


Media: After first airing last winter, the husky TV spot ran again this fall. According to DDB, the most recent media push put a bigger focus on the dogs as a mechanism for recall, used in social and digital channels. At the Toronto Santa Claus parade, 3,000 plush huskies were handed out.

They said: “We’re always looking for ways to inform and delight our audience. This is a fun way to reinforce that with 4Motion All-Wheel Drive you really are in control.” —Lynne Piette, director of marketing, Volkswagen Canada.

David Brown