Appointment to view: Volkswagen adopts AR for Beetle billboard stunt

Volkswagen Canada has used augmented reality (AR) to bring its outdoor advertising to life, showing its 2012 Beetle model doing stunts when viewed through a mobile device. Here's how the technology works.

To create the campaign, Red Urban Canada, the agency behind the work, embedded markers in the out of home ads, using AR technology to allow mobile devices like iPhones and iPads to unlock and view animations in the advertising in what appears to be real time to the viewer.

The AR animations can be accessed through billboards in Toronto’s Dundas Square, as well as on bus shelters throughout Vancouver and Toronto.

The animations show the Beetle launching itself through billboards, jumping off of a ramp that appears to emerge from the side of a building, and smashing through bus shelters after racing through a long tunnel that appears to be built behind the shelter itself.

The campaign aims to show a more aggressive, performance-oriented model of car. The ads will be supported by a digital campaign which will run until 26 November.

A free app can also be downloaded at, and viewers can watch the AR animations through the video above when viewed through the Volkswagen Canada YouTube channel.