Volkswagen does dark in Canada – and invites fans to join in the fun by making another commercial

This is interesting for two reasons: Volkswagen’s advertising is getting darker, gloomy sets and angst-ridden people sometimes (all a bit Weimar Republic you might say) and, despite all the gloom, it’s inviting fans to join the fun in this campaign for the Golf from Red Urban in Canada.

Here’s what the company says:

The first two advertisements in the series follow a man, in his early 30s, as he takes two important steps in his life. The first installment, “Courage”, shows the man driving his Golf around the block repeatedly, as he mentally prepares to propose to his girlfriend. When he makes up his mind and parks the car in front of his girlfriend’s house, the words “Drive until you find the courage.” appear on the screen.

The second spot, “Time”, shows the same man driving around in his Golf with his three best friends the night before the wedding. As the man prepares to head into the church, the words “Drive until it’s time.” appear.

In order to complete the trilogy, Volkswagen Canada will ask fans what the next chapter in the “Drive Until…” series should be. From there, Volkswagen and advertising agency Red Urban will work with the fans to generate the script, make decisions on actors, music and a number of other key decisions.

“While the idea of crowd-sourcing has been around for a while,” says Christina Yu, Executive Creative Director of Red Urban Canada, “the Drive Until… project encourages a different form of fan participation. We’re not simply asking people to submit an idea that we then produce, we’re extending the creative partnership we have with Volkswagen to our fans. Not only is it a really interesting thing to participate in, it democratizes the process in a way that really fits with the Volkswagen brand.”

But can a Golf be dark and edgy?

Maybe it can.

Brave for a German company.

Brilliant Jesus & Mary Chain music.

Bet the submissions for the third ad include the odd vampire.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.