Volkswagen, Kraftwerk and MOMA – an Über-Smart Partnership

To me, nothing screams art, movement and German like Kraftwerk. Whether it is because of Kraftwerk’s first international success in 1974 , Autobahn, through their last studio album, 2003’s Tour de France Soundtracks – their music has always been a sublime blend of machinery and movement. The fact that they are from Germany sort of fills in the German factor. As such, it seems like a no-brainer for Volkswagen to sponsor the electronic music collective’s retrospective at MOMA/PS1. The partnership is a very smart match made in Autobahn heaven.

Man Machine. Image courtesy of Sprueth Magers, Berlin and London. © Kraftwerk

This doesn’t seem like a forced partnership of entities that don’t necessarily match. Volkswagen has leaned heavily on the technology bent of late and is well known for the use of compelling music and creativity in all of its marketing. This partnership brings them back to a core – if you can transplant yourself from the 70s directly to this millenium.

Rather than doing a boring giveaway, they enmeshed technology into the very act of entering the ticket contest. They enhanced the contest mechanic, and the show itself, by having each person applying for the already sold out shows do so by entering a GIF. The only thing slightly wrong is their terming it as a GIFaway, but the dorkiness sort of fits.

Given that the seats were limited to begin with – only 500 tickets were available for each show – the carving out of 50 tickets of each performance for this promotion made it even more worthwhile. They ended up being able to create a truly fun and contextually relevant partnership and promotion – a good guide for others to follow…


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