Bronze Spike
Product / ServiceVOLKSWAGEN
CategoryA02. Non-Fiction: series or film
Entrant Company COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Contributing Company COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production Company FINCH Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Nick Worthington Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Creative Chairman
Levi Slavin Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Creative Director
Aaron Turk Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Head of Digital Creative
Scott Coldham Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand General Manager
Krystel Houghton Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Business Director
Andy McLeish Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Head Of Planning
Mike Davison Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Head of Art
Reks Kok Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Retoucher
Natasha Gill Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Senior TV Producer
Sheriden Derby Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Producer
Tim Freeman Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Executive Digital Producer
Robbie Boyd Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand Digital Developer
Steven Boniface Steven Boniface Photographer
Angela Spain FCB Media PR & Activation
Tom Ruddenklau Volkswagen General Manager
Ben Montgomery Volkswagen National Marketing Manager
Jake Tobin Volkswagen Senior Brand Manager
Michael Hilliard Finch Executive Producer
Jimena Murray / Amy Dymond Finch Producer
Luke Bouchier Finch Director

The Campaign

Most branded content these days involves brands adding their logo to a show or creating content that is soon forgotten. Rather than jump on this bandwagon, we wanted to create something that would not only have genuine standout but that could also affect a genuine and positive behavior change in our audience. The content was shared predominantly online (YouTube & Facebook) and there are no local restrictions outside of usual usage rights. We sought publisher approval on all placements. The content was clearly identifiable as having been produced and promoted by Volkswagen NZ.


Volkswagen spends over US$13.5 billion on R&D every year. The largest of any company. Safety and innovation are at the forefront of that investment. And while their cars continue to get better, and safer – we still see unecessary levels of casualty and fatality on New Zealand roads caused in one way or the other, by human error. Yes, Volkswagen make safe cars. But they wanted to understand if they could in fact, engineer safer drivers. The Volkswagen Reduce Speed Dial is a replacement panel for the speedometer in Volkswagens. It follows all of the clarity and safety restrictions of a standard speedometer, but the dial is personally hand written by a loved one. This simple, personal mnemonic reminds drivers what they have to live for at the exact moment they consider speeding. We selected Kiwi families who owned Volkswagens. Their children were secretly tasked with creating their own personal speed dial for their parent’s car. Tracking technology was installed in their vehicles and connected to their car’s internal GPS, to deliver telemetry about the parent’s driving behaviour as they went about their daily chores. At an undisclosed point in time, we replaced the speedometer in the car with the child’s version and observed their reaction and subsequent change in driving behaviour. “The Reduce Speed Dial initiative has changed the way we look at car safety.” Tom Ruddenklau, GM Volkswagen NZ.

April in New Zealand is road safety awareness month and therefore the media is full of stories on this subject. By launching a completely unique take on how to tackle this problem, we ensured that the media would pick up and share our content with the country. Rather than expecting them to come to us, we went to them. By using real families; the full journey of their experiences and their back-stories, our content was relatable and genuine (whilst tugging at people’s heartstrings.) We launched the campaign in social using a thought-provoking question – could Volkswagen engineer safer drivers?

One family reduced their top speed by 19kmh from a max of 123km to a max of 104km, which is a 15% reduction. One family did not break the speed limit after the installation of the personalised speed dial Three out of four drivers reduced their incidence of speeding in 100km zones by 50% 75% of the drivers’ did not exceed their maximum recorded speed from phase one. Half of the drivers’ maximum speeds reduced. We are currently in discussion with the New Zealand Transport Association regarding elevating this idea into a broader pilot in NZ for scoping feasibility longer term. We’re developing a digital version for the arrival of digital speedometers. Its long-term application is currently being considered by Volkswagen for global implementation.

Road safety in New Zealand is a ongoing and serious concern, however few automotive companies actively engage in the conversation. Volkswagen decided to take a fresh approach on this ongoing issue, with the intent to cement a wider sense of brand love with NZ. Rather than just focusing on safer cars, Volkswagen wanted to understand if they could instead engineer safer drivers. Children of four Kiwi families were tasked with creating personalised speed dials for their parent’s car. Tracking technology was installed in their vehicles, delivering telemetry about the parent’s driving behavior. Partway through, the speedometer was replaced in the car with the child’s version and observed their reaction and subsequent change in driving behaviour. It was all captured on film and turned into a mini-documentary to be shared with the nation. The brand and the product was an integral part of every step of the idea and execution.