Online & Digital

Volkswagen Road Tales


Issue 50 | February 2019


ACHTUNG! mcgarrybowen

Creative Team

Creative Agency ACHTUNG! mcgarrybowen & Kraftwerk - Linked by Isobar Executive Creative Directors Mervyn Ten Dam, Daniel Sytsma Creative Directors Samyr Souen, Kika Douglas Senior Creatives Wilmar Versprille, Matthijs Groos Junior Creative Lieve Eek

Production Team

Head of Production Sam van der Zanden Content Producer Souraya El-Far Digital Producer Kim Do Designers Joost Huver, Jack McAuliffe Design director Roy van Dijk UX design Falco Negenman Production Companies Since ’88, Round Trip, Robot Kittens Writers Joke van Leeuwen, Daan Remmerts de Vries, Babette van Veen & Herman van Veen, Wilmar Versprille, Matthijs Groos Sound design Big Orange

Other Credits

Account Manager Dirk Jan de Krom Strategy Director Boris Nihom Strategy Gerben van der Zwaard Client Marketing Communication Manager Berno Schokker Team Manager Marketing Communication Eric Bun Brand Communication Managers Laura Derks, Karin Sijbring


January 2019


Children are spending an increasing amount of time glued to screens of one sort and another. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has warned that children desperately need more free time to ignite their imaginations and develop a sense of wonder.

The back seat of a car on a family trip is where children used to look out of the window and let their imaginations wander into imaginary worlds. All too often today, however, they are sucked into screens and disconnected from what actually surrounds them.


‘Snelweg Sprookjes’ (which translates as Road Tales) was a free app developed for children between 4 and 11 years-old.

It was a location-based audiobook app, which created unique stories in response to the places, buildings and objects the car passed by. For this to happen, every highway in Holland was scanned, and every bridge, windmill, tree, petrol station and item of interest turned into elements within the stories.

Written with the help of some of the country’s top writers of children’s books, every road had a different story to tell.

Every journey became an experience that connected the online and offline worlds, enabling children to explore their fantasies.

All they had to do was listen and let their imaginations transform their surroundings.



Our Thoughts

We live in a world of paradox. While mobile devices connect us to everyone and to everything, our children become increasingly isolated. Mark Zuckerberg has written an open letter to his daughter about why she must play outside. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both limited the amount of time their kids spent playing with technology.

Now here’s tech providing an answer to the alternative realities that tech has created.

Road Tales offer a kind of mixed reality, in which fantastic stories are rooted in the real world. Now the car window can become a portal through which the imagination is set free.

All good stuff, and I use the word good carefully because what we see here is VW doing what it can to patch up its reputation.

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