"The Beetle Shark Cage" drives away with Best Use of Branded Content/Entertainment
The monstrously successful original content series transformed the Volkswagen Beetle into a fully-operational underwater shark cage for Discovery Channel's Shark Week 2012. Now the longest-running cable TV programming event in history, The Atlantic has described Shark Week as a "pop culture leviathan," and Steven Colbert named it the "second holiest annual holiday after Christmas."
Plunging the VW Beetle into Shark Week storytelling has already yielded numerous accolades, including two Cannes Lions, a Creative Media Award, a One Show Entertainment Award and recognition from both the Festival of Media Awards and M&M Global Awards. The initiative was so successful that MediaCom and partners Deutsch LA and Edelman brought Volkswagen back this year as presenting sponsor, complete with a new, tricked-out Beetle Convertible shark cage that can actually fly through water. Fans can follow the cage's Subaquatic Road Trip here.
"We started with a simple question: How do we get more men to buy the Beetle?" said Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom USA. "What we created was an immersive experience that pitted Volkswagen against one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. More than 2 million people saw the Beetle swim with sharks on TV, and nearly 29 million dove into the experience on the Web just a few weeks ago. What could be better than that?"
"MediaCom has been a great partner in helping us find creative ways to extend the brand through both traditional and alternative marketing channels," said Justin Osborne, general manager, marketing communications, Volkswagen of America. "Without a doubt, the Beetle shark cage campaign has been a real success for Volkswagen, allowing us to effectively reach a very engaged audience with some really unique content."
MediaCom has dubbed today "Beetle Monday," and is celebrating the win with various festivities at their headquarters. Adweek's full Media Plan of the Year feature is available today in print and online.