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People's Car Project

The Challenge

Volkswagens perception as an innovative brand in China has slipped over the past years and our challenge was to re-position Volkswagen as the most innovative auto brand in China and at the same time enable a deep, direct, long-term dialog with the People of China. 

The Solution

We created The People’s Car Project – an open-innovation initiative that has re-imagined how cars are designed, developed and marketed. Instead of building cars for the people, we would build cars with the people. To start building cars WITH the people, we anchored the program on a first-of-its-kind online dialog platform that delivers compelling content, interactive 3D tools, gamification and unique social experiences. It’s on this platform that the people’s ideas are created and come to life. The platform is socially enabled – integrating with all major social networks, to facilitate seamless sharing, amplifying the people’s creations and ideas and sharing them with their existing social communities. The best and most unique ideas are evaluated by Volkswagen engineers and designers to eventually help co-create the next People’s Car. 

The PCP enabled the people of China to actively participate and contribute to the creation and design of future cars – based on their personal views and ideas related to their environment. The dialog platform brought the VW brand to life for all people that engaged with it – not just people in the market for a car – and let them experience the Volkswagen brand in a unique, personalized and innovative way. 

The PCP, at its core is a socially enabled insight creator. The people’s ideas offer Volkswagen real, vibrant and free-form insight into how they view their world in terms of mobility and cars. The masses of rich information gathered through the PCP platform, social media forums and applications feeds first-of-its-kind insight to VW to inform their future decisions on design of their products. Conversely, the PCP gives the people power through a direct dialog with VW – something that was not easily achievable before. 

The Results

The People’s Car Project engaged over 30 Million people and generated 265,000 ideas, generating media value over $26M, with the final ideas used to create a concept “People’s Car.” VW became the most talked about automotive brand online and in social media surpassing BMW, Mini, & Mercedes. People involved in the program were 2.1X more likely to purchase a VW