CategoryB03. Corporate Reputation
EntrantDDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company DDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency DDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Flagship European automotive brand, Volkswagen, is seeking to become more relevant to Australians. As such, Volkswagen uses sponsorships of iconic Australian properties, including The Wiggles, to increase its familiarity and relevance to Australians. The decision of the original Wiggles to retire after 21 years together presented a unique challenge to Volkswagen – how could the brand own the share of voice at this historic time and continue to build on the sponsorship to enhance its relevance to Australians? Volkswagen’s primary objective was to leverage the partnership with The Wiggles to connect with Australians. Secondary to that, it was important to generate mass positive PR coverage for the brand. What better way for Volkswagen to celebrate 21 years of the original Wiggles line-up with all of Australia, than allow everyday Aussies a chance to own one of The Wiggles’ longest standing assets, the Big Red Car: an iconic piece of Australian history. This would also pave the way to give the new line-up a new set of wheels. To achieve all this, the Volkswagen Big Red Car was put up for auction on eBay with all funds going to SIDS and Kids. Starting with a press ad for The Wiggles Farewell Tour program, outreach was undertaken to announce the auction three weeks prior to the live date, maintain momentum and then finally celebrate the outcome for SIDS and Kids. In total, the campaign delivered over 81 million PR impressions and the auction raised $35,700 for SIDS and Kids.

The Brief

The campaign goal was to create positive PR for Volkswagen and their long-standing partnership with The Wiggles so as to own the share of voice around the final tour and reinforce the value of the sponsorship as the group transitioned to it’s new line-up. Although the target of the campaign was primarily families, it also extended to all Australians.


Australians interacted with Volkswagen in an unprecedented way, with the campaign generating more than 81 million PR impressions, over 55,000 unique visitors to the auction page and more than 100,000 views of the YouTube content. Importantly, 90% of the coverage was Volkswagen branded with 100% positive toward the Volkswagen brand. The campaign created significant engagement between Volkswagen and Australians but what makes this campaign truly special is the $35,700 raised for SIDS and Kids by the Volkswagen Big Red Car auction. This allowed the charity to roll-out a national online education package for health care professionals who deal with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.


To sustain awareness of Volkswagen’s auction of the Big Red Car beyond the 10-day auction, a five-week strategy was developed to deliver coverage Australia-wide. Phase one coincided with the appearance of an advert in The Wiggles’ tour programme. This advert included, a phone number allowing Aussies to call through to a recorded message from The Wiggles. Initial outreach delivered mass coverage, led by exclusives with News Ltd and The Today Show. Phase two saw Volkswagen roll-out a regional media tour allowing outlets access to the vehicle, delivering coverage in each market. Auction milestone outreach was also undertaken as part of this phase. To generate a final burst of coverage, the winning bid and new owner of the car were announced to media . Throughout the campaign, YouTube content that featured The Wiggles and the vehicle complemented the PR activity. This was amplified through seeding which reached 100,000 Australians.

The Situation

Volkswagen has been in Australia for 60 years and has seen strong growth in recent years, but needs to continue to develop its relevance to Australian consumers and gain familiarity in a very competitive market. Volkswagen uses sponsorship to build an emotional connection with Australians. This includes partnership with iconic kids entertainment group, The Wiggles. Volkswagen has sponsored The Wiggles for the last five years and the change in line-up would be the biggest event in Wiggles history with uncertainty around the transition to the new look Wiggles line-up. This presented Volkswagen with both a challenge and an opportunity.

The Strategy

To showcase the connection Volkswagen has to Australians, a campaign was developed which would allow everyday Australians to share in the celebration tour of the original line-up and bid for their chance to own a little slice of Wiggles and Australian music history. It was also important that the activity allowed for Volkswagen to continue a partnership with the new look group and demonstrate the value of its sponsorship with The Wiggles. Volkswagen partnered with The Wiggles to put the Volkswagen Big Red Car up for auction to raise funds for the group’s longest-standing charity partner, SIDS and Kids, while giving Aussies the chance to buy a piece of famous Wiggles memorabilia. This was Volkswagen Group Australia’s first-ever CSR campaign. We executed comprehensive PR, social media and direct marketing outreach campaigns centred around a 10-day auction on eBay, and our platform: ‘A new line-up needs new wheels’.


Name Company Position
Ryan Richards Ddb Group Sydney Planner
Sophie Carrad Ddb Group Sydney Digital Producer
Nicole Taylor Ddb Group Sydney Managing Partner
Alexander Masson Ddb Group Sydney Senior Account Executive
Tina Alldis Ddb Group Sydney Head Of Media Relations Strategy
Ben Greenslade Ddb Group Sydney Senior Account Director
Claire Salvetti Ddb Group Sydney Managing Director
Matt Mortimer/Michael Ashton Ddb Group Sydney Creatives
Steve Wakelam/Nick Pringle Ddb Group Sydney Creative Director
Dylan Harrison Ddb Group Sydney Executive Creative Director