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Nord DDB and VW ad for Touareg Nightvision

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.”

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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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