28 March 2012, Amsterdam – Tribal DDB Amsterdam launches ‘Hitchhike with a Like’, a new fully interactive online gaming experience for Volkswagen, featuring the third generation of the legendary Beetle car- 21st century Beetle. The campaign, which has been produced in close collaboration with Facebook, is a true innovation in the field of social media gaming worldwide and launches across 10 markets today.
The campaign, which conveys the authentic spirit of the 60’s Beetle car, promotes the new 21st Century Beetle as the ‘new’ charming rebel- combining the iconic design with the new powerful features of the modern car. There is a prize for the best player- a real 21st Beetle trip across Europe.
The idea is to allow Facebook fans that ‘liked’ the game, to virtually hitchhike to the greatest cities in Europe, getting picked up by different Beetle drivers each time. The game is accessible, easy to play and fun. Cities featured are carefully chosen hubs known for cultural and musical events, or considered design or architectural icons in Europe. Every ride is unique and generates an irreplaceable travel experience for the gamer.
There are 64 various characters driving 64 uniquely designed Beetle cars. Each of the 256 different rides bring surprising stories and outcomes, there are opportunities to earn extra points, unlock prizes and discover originally composed music tracks bringing the gaming experience to another level.
Robin Cenijn, Interaction Designer for Tribal DDB Amsterdam says:
“This game is a real experience of the spirit of the 21st Century Beetle. It allows you to travel with the iconic car but in an absolutely modern way bringing in the social aspect of the journey with sharing rides and comparing them with your Facebook friends. Hitch a ride with a Beetle and travel across Europe. Where to? It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the journey, the adventure and the surprise, not the destination.”
Chris Baylis, Executive Creative Director for Tribal DDB Amsterdam continues:
“The 21st Century Beetle may be faster, tougher and digitally re-mastered, but one thing remains the same - its spirit. We’re taking a classic symbol that captures the rebellious spirit of the original Beetle and updating it for the 21st century. We replace the 60’s thumbs up from the side of the road’ with hitchhiking the 21st century way: with a Facebook ‘Like’.
Music is a central part of this campaign taking a leading role in determining the ‘driving the spirit’ as each ride has its own soundtrack reflecting the characteristics of the of the Beetle driver.
Joep Beving, Music Supervisor for MassiveMusic Amsterdam says:
"We're super stoked with the completion of this exciting project. Especially since the role of music is so eminent in the game. It was a challenging brief to come up with 64 songs that would hit the mark both from a storytelling angle as well as appeal to a music savvy online social gaming generation. A big chunk of the songs are from our MassiveTalent catalogue that features exciting and aspiring unknown artists. The other tracks were all produced by MassiveMusic. It's the ultimate type of project to showcase why music agencies like ourselves exist. Let's hope people will enjoy it as much as we do."
Interactive social gaming experience
‘Hitchhike with a Like’ is a social media based and driven interactive experience giving you the liberty of directing the way of the game. To start, choose a destination city and then decide which character would like to be accompanied by. Every time a character offers you a ride, a short teaser about his trip appears. You start as a Rookie, but with practice you can become a true hitchhike king. And maybe, if you collect enough points along the way, you could win a real Beetle trip across Europe.
To bring out a truly innovative work with an unambiguous interactivity level, Tribal DDB Amsterdam worked very closely with Facebook.
Alexander Schlaubitz, Director Customer Marketing (EMEA) for Facebook says:
"The Beetle has always been an incredibly social car, so we were thrilled when we got the chance to explore how to develop a program on Facebook that truly unleashes the social potential of the new Beetle. The close and immersive interaction between Tribal DDB, VW, and Facebook allowed us to build a creative and engaging marketing program that we expect to create a lot of excitement."
Design and details
The game is intuitive, aiming at the short initial attention span of the user and requiring the best of play interaction design.
Tribal DDB Amsterdam’s creative team has invested a lot of time into the development of the campaign. The result is a large amount of written content, exceptional copywriting with a high dose of humour, brilliant music background and top-notch design taking this game to the next level of social gaming experiences. Each and every detail of the game is carefully designed- even the ‘hitchhike/Facebook thumb’ takes on 5 different forms.
The game has 5 levels: you will start as a rookie, soon to become a hitchhiker and on to globetrotter, high roller and the hitchhike king. It is highly addictive - the game will leave you wanting more as you strive to become a better hitchhiker in order to win great prizes. More points equal better prizes from 16 different prize categories, including: a trip around Europe to visit music festivals with the 21 century Beetle, a Fender guitar, skateboards, and free music tracks.
David Navarro, Senior Designer Tribal DDB Amsterdam adds:
'The design team (lead by David Navarro) have created a combination of the 21 Century maps in 60's Instagram style that blended old and new. We have developed 64 diverse car designs and equally many various characters. Some of the characters are based on real stories and authentic car imagery and some are fictional. We were inspired by the community of loyal Beetle lovers that fine-tune their cars with custom spoilers and rims in order to personalize their vehicles. We talked to them and injected their ideas into our design.’
Peter Hayden, Strategy Director Tribal DDB says:
‘When playing the game you escape daily life and enter the wonderful world of freedom of ‘Hitchhike with a Like’. All Beetle drivers you meet have their own funny personality and an exciting story; from surf dude in a classic 60’s Bug, to a record producer in the modern 21st century Beetle. Where are they going, what brings them there and why? The only way to find out is by driving in their customised Beetle.’