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Posts Tagged ‘Christina Yu’

Red Urban, Volkswagen Tell the Story of a Still-Running 1955 Beetle

When they stumbled upon archival pictures of a man and his 1955 Beetle, Volkswagen Canada and Toronto-based agency Red Urban realized they had a story to tell. As it turns out, that story is pretty amazing. They tracked down the man in the photo, Paul Loofs, who has driven the car around the world three times. Amazingly enough, that car is still running.

So Volkswagen Canada and Red Urban teamed up with Academy-nominated director Hubert Davis to tell his story in an (approximately) 30-minute documentary film. That documentary, Once More, The Story of VIN 903847, premiered on Discovery Channel and Bravo in January and is featured above (not a bad way to spend a lunch break). It tells the story of Loof’s unlikely, low-budget solo treks around the globe, which included many obstacles and unexpected, fortuitous events. Loofs eventually sold the car back to Volkswagen for use in an advertising campaign. A man named Emmanuel Thuillier bought the car and tracked down Loofs on the Internet, then surprised him by reuniting him with the vehicle for the first time since 1967.

“We feel that it really speaks to our fans, not only reinforcing the emotional connection so many people have to the brand, but celebrating the truly remarkable stories that so many of our owners have. It is not so much about a single car, although this Beetle is remarkable, it is more about how one car connects so many different people and their experiences, proving itself as The People’s Car,” said Volkswagen Brand Marketing manager, Lynne Piette. The documentary will continue to air on Discovery Channel and Bravo until February, with the following showtimes:

Bravo
Saturday February 22nd at 1PM
Discovery
Sunday February 16th at 8:30AM
Sunday February 23rd at 6:30AM
Friday February 27th at 6:30PM
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To Fight Animal Cancer, Dogs and Cats Sing, Dance, and Even Rap

Yes, that’s right, a dog raps in the two-minute “We Could Be Heroes” music video meant to raise awareness and money for animal cancer. The video for Pet Trust comes from Toronto-based Red Urban and appears to be a sort of “We Are the World” spin-off with dogs and cats. The opening over-the-should shot of a paw pressing against a keyboard tells you all you need to know. If you love animals, you’ll probably find this cute. If you don’t, you’ll probably find this cringingly corny.

Regardless of your position, I’m sure we all want to find a cure for animal cancer, so this campaign can always block any creative criticisms behind a shield of philanthropy. But even though the animal-personified-as-human motif  lacks substance, it’s hard to navigate this kind of project without resorting to Sarah McLachlan territory. And by comparison, Red Urban took a more positive approach that doesn’t make you want to immediately change the channel or start weeping. Points for that, and credits after the jump.

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Walk Off The Earth Plays Bland Song in Three Styles for Interactive Beetle Spot

Immensely popular/boring band Walk Off The Earth play the same bland song in three different styles for Red Urban’s new interactive VW spot, directed by Wendy Morgan.

Users can select to hear the song “Gang of Rhythm” in three different versions, each shot at a different location and paired with a different Beetle, and even switch back and forth while the song plays out. They can choose ”Playful” mode for the Beetle Convertible, “Soulful” mode for the Super Beetle, or “Powerful” mode for the Beetle GSR. The song sounds like it was written for a car commercial, so I guess it’s appropriate enough. That doesn’t make it any more listenable, though. Gimmicky attempts to use the Beetle in the music abound: In one version, it’s the sound of the car’s engine, while in another it’s one of the Walk Off The Earth dudes drumming on the car.

According to Christina Yu, ECDof Red Urban Canada, the collaboration was the band’s idea. “Volkswagen got a call from the band one day,” she says, “apparently they are big Volkswagen fans and wanted to collaborate…We thought it was a great idea, so immediately started developing the ideas for the video.”

One thing we can take from this is that interactive seems to be in at the moment, especially in work for car companies. WCRS had their virtual test drive for the BMWi3, and Campfire had that “Deja View” spot for Infiniti. This particular spot’s interactive element (or gimmick, depending on your stance) is a pretty sound one, and the fluidity with which you can switch between the different styles in the video is well-executed. If I had been able to stomach the music, I could have even enjoyed it. Credits after the jump. Read more

Red Urban Highlights New Golf GTD’s Acceleration in Global Spots

Red Urban, Volkswagen’s creative agency in Canada for the past three-and-a-half years, has unveiled the new Golf GTD with a global campaign showcasing the car’s rapid acceleration. The five 15-second spots for the campaign were filmed on location in Toronto over the course of two days, presenting quite a few challenges for Red Urban and director Curtis Wehfritz, working with several different shooting locations, a car-mounted camera and many prop gags.

The results are pretty mixed, ranging from the befuddling — expanding waistlines and accelerated childbirth — to the humorous: a grumpy child whose strawberry ice cream flies off its cone and against the rear windshield. This latter spot succeeds largely because of the perfect look on the girl’s face, and the believable (if unrealistic) execution of the ice cream splat.

The series marks the Canadian agency’s increasing expansion into global creative work for Volkswagen, which creative director Christina Yu calls “an amazing opportunity for Red Urban.” Red Urban’s work for Volkswagen in Canada has been innovative and has even seen the agency take some risks, as with their “Great Volkswagen Art Heist” campaign. While their campaign for the Golf GTD plays it relatively safe, hopefully the agency will start pushing boundaries with their future global work for Volkswagen.

Credits and one more video after the jump.

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The Volkswagen Jetta is Like Fresh Meat or Something

From Toronto-based agency Red Urban comes the above spot for Volkswagen Canada, which tells car-buying consumers that the 2013 Jetta is as fresh as fresh meat. You know, fresh as in hip or cool, while being fresh as in new and edible for consumption, like steak that isn’t old.

To be honest, it seems that Red Urban was just wondering if it would be possible to dangle cars behind a butcher’s counter like slabs of steak that Rocky would punch. Red Urban ECD Christina Yu says, ““The big challenge was to hang the cars so that they would sway a little. To accomplish the stunt, we removed the engine, transmission and fluids from both vehicles to reduce the overall weight.” Hey, look, it is possible, and here’s the making-of video to prove it:

The agency settled on Castle Loma, a historical castle in Toronto, as the shooting location for the spot, because it’s large enough to dangle two cars from its ceiling. Yes, they apparently have castles in Canada. The more you know, right? Credits after the jump.

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The New VW Beetle Gets Extreme, Augmented

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 13 years since we were introduced to VW’s “New Beetle,” aka the vehicle that saved Volkswagen from years of declining sales. Boosted by a worldwide ad blitz that featured work from, among others, the agency that introduced the original Beetle 30 years prior (DDB), the “New Beetle” continued on its predecessor’s legacy of being a vehicle that found great success as a direct result of focused, innovative marketing.

The new challenge for VW’s numerous agencies around the world is re-introducing a Beetle with a new, “aggressive” look. As we can see in the above spot, the 2012 Beetle comes with a spoiler and a leather racing-style interior, an attempt at making it more appealing to testosterone-riddled men who wince whenever they see a bright yellow Beetle with a vanity plate that reads “MI BUG” in the next lane over. For Omincom-owned Red Urban Canada, this meant marrying new technology with high-flying stunts in a campaign called “Juiced Up.”

Of course, an augmented reality campaign in an outdoor space needs an environment where people aren’t risking being knifed to death and robbed every time they whip out their iPads in public. So, good thing Red Urban had friendly urban environments like Toronto’s Dundas Square and various places in Montreal and Vancouver to make their “Juiced Up” happen. With a campaign of this magnitude happening up north, something that no doubt has agency creatives across the globe scrambling to come up with the next great augmented reality campaign, it’s going to be interesting to see if Deutsch can match Red Urban for the Beetle’s U.S. launch (after all, the “Black Beetle” teaser from the Super Bowl can’t be everything, right?). Until then, this will be the campaign that everyone will be talking about–well, that and the Jetta “Art Heist” work. Credits after the jump.

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VW Strives to Create the ‘People’s Ad’

As many outside of the industry have always protested, “Anyone can make an advertisement.” Well, it just so happens that VW Canada is putting the critiques of the layperson up to the test, asking Facebook followers to create part three of the VW Golf’s “Drive Until…” campaign. That’s right, Joe and Jane Ad Critic now have an opportunity to get their names in the credits for a national TV spot.

The first installment (after the jump) follows a man as he drives his VW Golf around until he gets the courage to propose to his girlfriend, followed by a second spot (above) featuring the man driving until its time to enter the world of holy matrimony. We don’t know if this crowdsourced end to the “Drive Until…” trilogy is due to agency Red Urban running out of ideas, because Red Urban was asked by VW to make the campaign “more social” or both. In any case, you can head to VW Canada’s Facebook page to submit your ideas, which will eventually translate into a collaboration with the automaker and Red Urban on a script, casting decisions, music and other components.

Still, the agency’s ECD Christina Yu asserts in a statement that while crowdsourcing ads is nothing new, “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.” Should you try driving until you can come up with an idea?

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Cannes Announces Film, Press, Radio Juries

As Cannes Lions rapidly approaches, the juries in various categories are finally taking shape as the festival organizers announced this week that the juries for Film, Press and Radio are set. As we previously mentioned, Y&R global CCO Tony Granger will preside over the first two while Publicis Worldwide CCO Olivier Altmann will lead Outdoor.

If you so wish, you can check out the long jury lists after the jump. FYI, Outdoor trophies will be handed out on June 21, Press on June 22 and Film on June 25.

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