Shortlisted 2023




Entered by:

PHD Germany

The Force Is Strong, United!


The Walt Disney Company, Spark Foundry Germany GmbH

The Challenge

Two global brands – Volkswagen and Disney – are launching their most iconic products in new guises in 2022.
And all at the same time, with the same protagonist: Ewan McGregor.
Because what nobody knew beforehand: the Scottish film star is a self-confessed VW bus lover and was therefore the perfect VW testimonial.

VW and Disney did the same like many other brands and entered a brand cooperation. Both brands hoped that this unique partnership would have mutual spin-off effects that would pay off for the other brand.

Accordingly, both campaigns went live creatively in the look-and-feel of the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

While the campaigns could hardly be distinguished from each other by their visuals, the goals could not be more different, at least at first glance:

VW launched the new ID.Buzz – an electrified homage to the legendary VW bus – and aimed to get as many people as possible excited about the all-electric VW Bus. As an overarching goal, the campaign was intended to pay tribute to the VW brand and its brand identity.
Disney’s declared goal, on the other hand, was to promote the start of their new series Obi-Wan Kenobi and to attract as many people as possible to the screen.

But how do you synchronise two campaigns and target groups from different agencies so that they don’t cannibalise each other?

The Content Solution

What made the whole thing incredibly difficult was that VW and Disney are managed by different media agencies. PHD is responsible for VW, Disney is managed by Spark Foundry.
Both agencies were faced with the question: How do you communicate for the respective product without knowing in detail about the concrete media activities of the other campaign?
A platform was needed through which collaborative working could take place without sharing confidential information.

The solution was obvious:
PHD and Spark Foundry did the same for VW and Disney and entered a cooperation at agency level.

PHD’s planning tool provided the appropriate platform for this, allowing each agency to see only what it was allowed to see. Not too much, not too little.
Target group matching revealed a high potential for collaboration in the target group intersection, from which clear recommendations could be derived as to whether a certain channel should be occupied or avoided at a certain time.
In order to optimise all digital bidding strategies, we implemented a Data Clean Room directly in the planning tool just for this purpose.
The advantage: A data clean room allows different parties to feed their (sensitive) data onto the same platform and compare them via an automated process using artificial intelligence.
In this sense, a data clean room is a “neutral” storage that prevents data from another party from being extracted.
Thanks to this solution, we were able to match bids on digital inventory across both campaigns in an automated way, which prevented mutual high-bidding effects

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

To get the target groups excited about the ID.Buzz and the Disney+ series, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi promoted both highlight products on all screens.

At the beginning of the campaigns, the TV spots were selective and could be seen on different channels and time slots. Here, the Volkswagen spot did the groundwork, matching the start of pre-sales of the ID.Buzz. The closer the launch of the series came, the more often the spots were seen specifically as a tandem on TV.
In parallel, numerous teaser videos were played out via social media, online and programmatic advertising. Before the start of the series on Disney+, targeted OOH and cinema trailers were used.

In this way, it was possible to orchestrate two budget-intensive campaigns in such a way that they were planned and worked in a complementary and holistic way. A cooperation that made it possible to avoid duplications as well as a coordinated channel and format selection to ensure that absolutely everyone had at least one contact with Obi Wan.

So basically no one got around the two campaigns and felt addressed several times: to the series on Disney+ as well as on VW’s new ID.Buzz.

The Result

A double strategy, with double success!

Significant uplifts in brand perception were achieved for Volkswagen:

  • Brand awareness (already at a high level) increased by +4%.
  • Brand Consideration increased by +17%.
  • Ad recall increased by +24%.

In the German-speaking (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) popularity scale of Disney+, Obi-Wan Kenobi took first place right from the start.
The series jumped straight to the top at the premiere.
In the slipstream, the animated series “Star Wars – The Clone Wars” also climbed – from 8 to 5.

In addition, a real push in subscribers was recorded as a result of the series launch and the large Star Wars fan base.
Only a few weeks after the campaign, the October 2022 quarterly figures revealed that Disney+ had more subscribers than Netflix for the first time.

The enormous interest in the new VW Bus as well as the series was also shown by a look at the Google Trends data:

  • The search term “Obi-Wan Kenobi” jumped from 13 to 100 between 8 May and 28 May.
  • The search term “VW ID.Buzz” jumped from 3 to 100 between 1 May and 20 May.