Product / ServiceVW SPORTS CARS
CategoryA10. Best Integrated Content Campaign
EntrantPAE MEDIA Beijing, CHINA
Entrant Company PAE MEDIA Beijing, CHINA
Contributing Company PAE MEDIA Beijing, CHINA

The Campaign

Branded content in China is still at an early stage despite it’s recent progress. Especially the boom in social media during the last 2 to 3 years gave branded content a platform to grow rapidly. Consequently brands spend more and more resources on branded content instead of traditional advertisement. Several reasons are responsible for this phenomena in China: marketers and brands are able to reach customers a lot more targeted. Therefore, branded content became not only an alternative to traditional advertising, but enabled customers to enjoy and memorize brand massages embedded in exciting content. With far less restrictions in online content, marketers have more freedom in creative and execution of their projects, especially compared to traditional projects on television. While the project creators and brands are given a new range of tools, the consumer is able to enjoy informative, educative and interactive content, which is clearly more entertaining than traditional advertising.


The Volkswagen Group owns some of the world’s leading sports car brands in the world: Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Audi and Porsche. Unfortunately for this lineup, most Chinese people prefer expensive SUVs to slick supercars. Volkswagen realized that traditional advertising wasn’t going to make supercars “cool”, so they explored branded content as an alternative. In a unique partnership with Hollywood superstar Keanu Reeves, we were able to put together a multi-layered project that resulted in a massive global movie integration, a groundbreaking micro-movie for the Chinese market, and a jaw dropping surprise appearance of Keanu Reeves at Volkswagen’s Shanghai Auto Show Group Night – all integrated seamlessly as an organic partnership.

We promoted the content mainly via social media. First we started promoting the short-film during premiere of the feature film "Man of Tai Chi". We positioned our short-film as the first microfilm featuring Hollywood superstars. This message attracted a vast range of media coverage and thousands of movie fans. In the meantime we also promote the short film via auto channels with strong focus on the five super cars. Due to the content's non-commercial nature (branded content) the actors and actress in our short-film used their personal social media channels without worrying to be strongly connected to a particular brand and garnered massive attention.

This collaboration resulted in a 17-minute micro-movie produced by PAE and starring Chinese celebrities like Jing Boran, Qi Qin, Tiger Chen and Lin Xue, as well as Hollywood superstar Keanu Reeves, and of course co-starring the most beautiful supercars in the world. The micro movie had a fully original plot, an upcoming Chinese director and carried subtle hints of being connected to Man of Tai Chi, a new breed of China-Hollywood co-invested feature film. The product integration in said movie was done in a very organic and authentic way, and thus avoided the blatant kind of product placement that is seen in many movies and is increasingly turning audiences off. The micro movie was extremely well received online, and so was the movie integration. The partnership was so cleverly structured that we were able to package the movie integration, the micro movie, and the Auto Show appearance of Keanu Reeves into a budget that wouldn’t even pay for a stand alone micro movie of this quality...


Name Company Position
Zed Bias Remix
John Ross Cameo Content Sound Design
Greg Ten Bosc Cameo Content Sound Design
Del Spiva Cameo Content Sound Design
Jakob Händel Recording Producer
Rolf Becker Music Composer
Yin Kewei Meng Zhiyue Editor
Bruce Law Bruce Law Stunts Stunt Director
Zhao Xiaoning Meng Zhiyue Cameraman
Sha Jincheng Meng Zhiyue Cinematographer
Liu Guonan Meng Zhiyue Director
Cong Xiao Meng Zhiyue Producer
Cui Chao Pae Planner
Lu Zhen Pae Account Manager
Song Yongwei Pae Creative Director
Martin Barnes Pae Executive Creative Director
Toni Piëch Pae Agency Producer/Superviser