VW Touts Touareg Via 'Bourne Ultimatum,' Rally Racing

Volkswagen is pitching its new Touareg 2 with a two-part campaign. The first involves the Touareg 2's integration in Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum," the third of a triptych of Bourne movies starring Matt Damon that premiers Aug. 3. The second aspect of VW's campaign is promotional activity around rally racing, with a DVD planned for later this fall.

The effort, which includes advertising, promotional and interactive elements, has the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based U.S. sales arm of Volkswagen AG using Touareg's presence in the Universal film to drive consumers to the VW web site, where they can learn more about how the new vehicle differs from the first-generation Touareg SUV. The film also features VW's Rabbit vehicle.

The campaign "takes over" VW's consumer Web site home page at vw.com and directs visitors to a series of documentary-style video features on how the chase scenes between a Touareg2 and cop car were shot in New York City. VW is also running a promotion offering two free tickets to the movie for a test drive. "Isn't it good to know if you needed to chase down a government assassin, you could?"

Kurt Schneider, general manager of creative content at Volkswagen of America, says the alignment of Touareg2 and the Bourne film makes sense as a way to highlight the new vehicle's performance and safety virtues.

"We wanted to find a way to connect Touareg to a very high-visibility property to communicate what's new. The 'Bourne' film seemed like a perfect opportunity, and they were interested in it for the chase scene."

The company used shots from the scene as the creative core for a new TV spot that broke Thursday night during "The Late Show With David Letterman," on which Damon was guest. The new ad also aligns with VW's "Safe Happens" campaign, which launched last year and makes a point about VW vehicle safety by taking viewers along for the ride as vehicles like Passat and Jetta get into accidents, leaving their uninjured occupants scratching their heads and asking, "What the ...?"

The new spot features video from the chase scene ending with the Touareg2 having a terrific wreck. In the ad, via Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, Miami, the actor who played the vehicle's driver in the movie steps out of the wreckage and says, "What the ...?" and then shows the vehicle--unscathed.

Schneider says the arrangement also involves a promotional deal with Google, involving ticket giveaways. "We are leveraging all publicity around Touareg and the film to drive people to our site; the new vehicle is more powerful and more capable, and the best way to communicate that is to get people online," he says, adding that the company will also offer free screenings of the movie in the top 14 markets for owners and prospects.

The second element of the campaign will focus on Touareg's presence in off-road racing as a way to communicate vehicle capability. "We will do a huge PR effort around motorsports," he says. That will include a DVD "Road to Baja" in which VW's off-road team driver puts a production Touareg through the paces, in Baja, reserved for the stripped-down, jacked-up racing version.

He says both efforts are aimed at people interested in action. "Both are a great fit with Touareg."

VW's deal with Universal is the latest of several product integration and promotional arrangements since the two signed a global marketing partnership in 2005.

Volkswagen vehicles appeared in Universal's "Knocked Up," "The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift" and "Inside Man," in which a Touareg was the getaway vehicle for the anti-heroes during the film's denouement. Other placements include "Accepted," "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and "Hot Fuzz."

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