German Automaker Volkswagen plans to reach parents by appealing to children with a GPS-enabled interactive storytelling app

As millennials age and become parents, their mobile-connected children give brands opportunities to create new touchpoints with consumers. Automakers in particular, such as VW, are appealing to families with advertising and social outreach.

Originating in the Netherlands, Volkswagen’s ‘Road Tales’ app was created as a cure for children addicted to their screens—at least while they’re in the car. Partnering with the innovative Dutch creative agency ACHTUNG! mcgarrybowen, the leading auto brand combined location-based technology with writing from award-winning children’s book writers in order to form an interactive game that stimulates imagination while avoiding additional screen time.

Development for such an originative concept was complex. The agency began by scanning every road and highway, as well as elements like bridges, tunnels, windmills, etc. This data is implemented within the app using GPS technology to provide live-time interaction. When a car passes a tree that is recognized in the system, it is translated directly to the app through sound. Essentially working as an interactive audiobook, Road Tales would transform the tree into a fantastical, audible story element.

“With the app we stimulate the imagination of kids and create a fun and interactive experience for the whole family. Through a custom story-engine, the app builds stories in real-time around ordinary highway objects,” Mervyn ten Dam,  executive creative director of ACHTUNG! mcgarrybowen Amsterdam, said in a statement.  “With this app we want to give children the ability to trigger their creative thinking skills, which are essential to self-discovery.” VW hopes this app will appeal to parents by highlighting the brand's family-friendliness, as well as its advanced technology.

Volkswagen

As millennials age and become parents, their mobile-connected children give brands opportunities to create new touchpoints with consumers. Automakers in particular, such as VW, are appealing to families with advertising and social outreach.

Originating in the Netherlands, Volkswagen’s ‘Road Tales’ app was created as a cure for children addicted to their screens—at least while they’re in the car. Partnering with the innovative Dutch creative agency ACHTUNG! mcgarrybowen, the leading auto brand combined location-based technology with writing from award-winning children’s book writers in order to form an interactive game that stimulates imagination while avoiding additional screen time.