Creative advertising campaign through QR-codes in the automotive industry

Partner Agency

Grabarz & Partner


Volkswagen AG


Emerging Technologies
Mixed Reality



In Germany, car prototypes are sent out on the road for testing in camouflage wrapping. This itself arouses the curiosity of many car fans. In order to take advantage of the existing attention, together with our partner we integrated QR codes into the camouflage wrapping of an unreleased car.

By scanning the codes, users were directed to exclusive content and photos of the new VW up! and were thus rewarded for their curiosity. The codes were scanned and displayed more than five and a half thousand times on the streets, impressively demonstrating the success of this advertising campaign.


Before a car is launched, it needs to go through several tests, most of the times even outside of the production plant. In Germany, we call these camouflaged prototypes “Erlkönig”.

Car enthusiasts usually get very excited when they see one on the street. Nevertheless, usually you can barely see anything more than the brand and eventually the model type.

Therefore, together with our partner we faced the following challenge: How can you reward your loyal fans, and make potential clients even more excited for the new Volkswagen model?


Six days before the official world premiere of the new Volkswagen model up!, several camouflaged prototypes (Erlkönige) were sent all over the streets of Germany.

The exciting part: it was not a usual camouflage – this time QR codes were incorporated. The embedded QR codes can be scanned by anyone with their smart devices. By scanning it, users are redirected to Volkswagen’s landing page and were asked to register with their email address.

Whoever scanned it, therefore received exclusive information and photos of the new model before its official release. Moreover, we added a share-function for popular social media platforms, so that users could share the exciting news with their social network.


Small promotion – big impact: The results were stunning. During the first eight days more than 5,500 people spotted and scanned the new QR-Prototype on the streets of Germany, and therefore received the very first pictures of the new VW up!

Through the embedded share-function the promotion spread even further all throughout the internet. People who did not get the chance to spot and scan the VW prototype live on the streets, were still able to scan the QR code from a photograph, and were also rewarded with exclusive content and photos of the new car model.

The project was incredibly successful because it rewarded the curiosity of fans and potential customers without interfering with the testing of the car. Thus, we were able to combine the necessary testing with an exciting advertising campaign.


  • Connected ShortURL Service
  • Oversised QR Code generation
  • Lightweight Landingpage optimised for mobile, tablet and browser and slow mobile data connection

Key Results

  • Combining automotive prototype testing with an advertising campaign
  • Rewarding loyal customers & promoting to new customers
  • Impressive results: more than 5,500 scans in the first eight days
  • High shareability through social media connection
  • Increasing & optimising the CRM database