All posts by sommerab

my name is Alex and I'm a senior here at VCU, but not the kind who is about to graduate in May. I want to find a job in the future that lets me utilize my strange brain instead of sitting at a desk crunching numbers all day, because first off, that doesn't sound fun, and second, it'll be really awkward when my boss finds out I am incapable of doing simple math

A VW-Sponsored Gaming Competition (#54)

arcade game

arcade game2

Alriiiiight last post, let’s go! So, my idea for this one was a gaming competition in a public place. I’ve seen giveaway contests at the mall where they have a car inside an enclosed space for people to see, and a box full of papers you can fill out to try and win it. Wow, that’s so cool, you can win a car! Except, there’s nothing fun about filling out a piece of paper, and chances are I won’t win anyways so why waste my time, right? Well if you take a similar idea and actually make it fun, it will attract a lot more people and attention. There are tons of people who love playing games, and arcade games are so easy, most anyone can do them. They’re also quite inexpensive to make, which is an upside. A custom Volkswagen game in a mall would bring tons of people. I don’t know if Mr. Volkswagen President would charge per entry, but I know this guy would make everyone put in a dollar or something haha. It all depends on whether the event is meant to raise money or just awareness. So yeah, gaming contest with tons of people watching and laughing and having a good time, and the winner gets a new VW. Nice.

Get A Badass Movie/TV Character to Make VW Even Cooler(#53)

bond and car1

As cliche as it sounds, people really do like to emulate what they see in the movies and on TV. If a character is particularly cool and audiences can identify with them, sometimes they will try and incorporate a part of that person’s image into their own lives and make that their thing. Maybe you watch a movie with a really cool, mysterious main character who rides around in the dark of night on a motorcycle beating up thugs and saving people in distress. “Damn, I wish I had a motorcyle” you think. “If only I had a motorcycle…then I could be like him”. A great example of this in recent years is in the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall. As you probably already know, James Bond is known for being a badass and is pretty much the alpha male. He fights bad guys, drives nice cars, and is always smooth with the ladies. There is one scene in the movie where a woman shaves him with a straight razor like they used to do at barbershops back in the day. They still do it at some, but this used to be the only way to do it and people knew that. But after Bond is shaving with one, everyone wants them again. Sales in the UK increased 405% following the release of the movie.

So the idea here is for Bond, or any badass character like that, to drive a nice Volkswagen. James Bond travels all over the world and uses lots of different types of cars, so it isn’t too far fetched. And if you’re worried he would want something “cooler” than anything VW could offer, remember that Volkswagen Group owns Ferrari as well as many other cars fit for a super spy.

bond and car2

Subliminal Volkswagen Art (#52)

join the club

art2

Okay so this one is more of an experimental idea. What I had in mind was an art show. Ignore the fact that I used actual famous paintings to show, because original art works even better. But the thing is everything has to have an element of Volkswagen in it, but the people coming to see the art show don’t know that. They think it’s just a regular art show. At the end, after they’ve seen everything, each person is asked if they noticed. If they said yes, have them answer a few questions like “how did it make you feel about the art?”, “what feelings did the art provoke?”, and “would you say the artist made the Volkswagen elements fit in with everything else?”. If the artists involved are capable enough to be able to blend everything fairly well and the viewers have a positive experience then hopefully they will connect those feelings to the brand.

What the Future Holds (#51)

the future

I was gonna try and get 53 of these done and then make this my last post but I’m having a hard time coming up with ideas and it’s crunch time now haha. Here is what I think Volkswagen will be doing in the future:

– At some point way down the line, they will begin making predominately electric cars

– Self-driving cars. As the self-driving technology currently used in the Google car gets more advanced it will be put into more cars, and at some point they will all drive themselves. They say the Google car went all across the country and the only trouble it ran into was when another person hit it.

– Periodically, Volkswagen will stop making certain models. Many of the classic ones you see on the road are just that. Eventually all the current models will be obsolete and they will be onto other things. I think there will always be something that is Bug-like in shape or looks sort of like it just because you can never forget what was so popular

– When we ditch cars for spaceships in the future, expect Volkswagen to play a big role

The car in the photoshop I made is a concept of a future Volkswagen car

An Awesome Billboard (#50)

cant touch this!

Anyone who has been on a long drive can tell you that there are tons of billboards. I used to go to school in the midwest so I would make that cross-country drive a few times a year, and trust me there’s not a whole lot to look at out there. The horizon is really cool because everything is so flat, but the fields and farms and trees get really repetitive. After awhile, billboards start to become a lot more interesting so I would end up looking at a lot of them. The ones that really popped out the most at you were the ones that weren’t complete rectangles, so I included something that stuck out. The colors are also important, and I found that the more colorful they were the more they would catch my eye. There are boring billboards that just have words on them, stuff like “Come to our boot store, exit 118” put onto a colored board. That’s not that exciting and doesn’t catch the eye. The best ones were always the ones that included what they were talking about so I tried to do that

They Won’t Even Care How You Park (#49)

cool car

It doesn’t matter where you go. Whether it’s the to the movies or the mall or a store, as long as you’re in a parking lot there’s a good chance you’re gonna see someone who’s parked like an asshole. We’ve all seen it, sometimes people park right in the middle of two spaces, sometimes they block things, and sometimes they’re just a little crooked. The idea behind this is an ad that shows various Volkswagen vehicles parked just like those people. Only instead of commenting negatively, the people who pass by pay more attention to how much they like the car. My thought process was that anything that can have that kind of effect on people is of a lot of value and must be designed well. I actually got this idea walking back to my place from class and seeing a new VW parked crooked haha.

parking space2 copy

Man’s Best Friend (#48)

Mature Man Eating Potato Chips in Movie Theater Auditorium

bff1

bff2

When you think “best friend”, you think adventures, laughter, good times and many stories to tell later on. When you think of qualities a great best friend has, what comes to mind? They’re exciting, fun-loving, unique, and sometimes a little surprising. Remind you of anyone?

A Volkswagen Character on a Children’s TV Show (#47)

At first, I was thinking how I could do something with Volkwagen’s brand archetype, the Child. I started thinking about various children show’s and where a living, talking car could fit with the rest of the characters. Then it hit me: Thomas the Tank Engine.

thomas character

Yes, I know that looks terrifying. Look away if you have to. But here’s the thing, that’s kinda how all the characters on the show look and none of the children are freaked out by it at all. They love the characters and are sometimes influenced by them in their developmental years. I thought back to when I was a kid (I used to love this show) and I remembered how much I loved trains simply because the characters on the show I loved were trains. That was really the only reason and yet I thought trains were so cool. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was that age, I would have probably said a train conductor. I may not be a train conductor right now, and I may not know the first thing about how to be one, but it’s amazing how much the characters on a show can inspire kids’ imagination and get them interested in various things. A VW bug character on Thomas the Tank engine might have the same effect on kids that watch today, and it would stand out as the only car on the show (I think. It’s been awhile haha).

thomas

Burning Car Festival (#46)

For those of you who don’t know what Burning Man Festival is, it’s a weeklong event where thousands of people get together in the desert and surround a giant flammable sculpture of a man. There is music, dancing, and typical festival….festivities. At the end of the week they set fire to the giant man, hence “burning man” and watch him turn to ash. The people involved have said that it is ” an experiment in community, art, and radical self-expression”. It looks a little something like this

burning man real

Volkswagen, as you are by now well aware, is a strong believer in both art and self expression. The idea of being unique is an integral part of the brand. My idea for this post is that a similar event could be set up (sponsored by VW and not a week long of course) in anticipation of a new car model while another one is being retired. Every now and again Volkswagen will retire an older model and come out with a new one shortly afterwards. This event would be a get-together for VW owners, potential buyers, and anyone who wanted to come out. A giant wicker sculpture of whatever model is being retired would be the centerpiece of the gathering. Underneath would be a stone statue of the NEW model, so as the old burns away the new is revealed.

ceremony1

ceremony2

Dibs on the Backseat (#45)

backseat tv

How often have you heard someone call the back seat? Probably not that often, but this is an idea that’ll have everyone fighting over the most unappreciated space in the car:TV’s on the back of the seats that you can pop your favorite DVD into or connect to a tablet via bluetooth and play something that way during a long drive. What better way to connect to the “Child” archetype, which is known for having fun, than providing something fun for your child?