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VW and DDB storytelling glows in the dark

When NORD DDB was tasked with promoting the new Night Visionfeature for the VW Touareg – a thermal imaging camera designed to detect persons and animals on the road – it decided to shine a light on fauna’s plight, using a highly unusual approach. « The idea of contrasting talk of cutting-edge tech with an old-school Swedish bedtime story felt refreshingly original.”

Also read: Warning! New-car-smell inside

The resulting bittersweet children’s tale was published on the back page of the financial paper Dagens Industri Weekend. The ad is all text, save for a small illustration, and tells the story of a lonely deer who wanders perilously close to the road. So why choose a traditional format to promote an ultra-modern feature of the VW marque? NORD DDB copywriter Svante Pårup says the decision to use a children’s tale felt emotive and appropriate for the season. And what better way to deliver the message than in a format typically associated with storytelling?

« A magazine, he suggests, is about as close to a book as you can get – without being one. »

It’s hardly Hans Christian Andersen, but there is one fantastical flourish worth noting. Read the story in daylight and our doe-eyed protagonist meets an unfortunate, all-too-familiar end. Read it under cover of darkness, though, and you’re treated to a happier outcome – in glow-in-the-dark text. For VW’s execution to shine through, both in the dark and in a crowded media landscape, the ad was printed using two layers of ink: a traditional one for daylight, and a fluorescent one for night.

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