VW Plans Ad Blitz Around 'Bourne' Movie

Will Center on SUV's Role in Spy Franchise

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DETROIT -- Volkswagen of America will kick off a national ad blitz in late July that spotlights its SUV's role in the spy thriller "The Bourne Ultimatum," which arrives in theaters Aug. 3.

Volkswagen joins Jason Bourne as he returns for the third installment in the spy-thriller franchise.

The effort marks VW's first integrated product-placement deal in the U.S. since parent Volkswagen AG inked a $200 million global product-placement and promotions deal with NBC Universal in early 2005 via Meteor Worldwide, Los Angeles.

'Strongest opportunity in the contract'
This tie-in is "the strongest opportunity in the contract that has existed so far," said Adrian Hallmark, exec VP of the VW brand here. VW's U.S. agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, is working closely with Universal on the campaign here.

VW's freshened SUV, the Touareg, is featured prominently in a chase scene late in the film, in which Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne.

As part of the deal, VW has the rights to use movie footage in its ads, Mr. Hallmark said. VW is considering shooting scenes with the film's actors and sets, which he dubbed the most expensive way to handle tie-ins.

Although the final decision hasn't been made, don't look for Mr. Damon to appear in VW's ads, an option that is "off the table," said Universal's Stephanie Sperber, exec VP-corporate sponsorships.

VW's Touareg is featured in a chase scene in the film.

She said Crispin is negotiating with other talent in the film to appear in the ads.

A role for Golf too
VW's Golf also appears in the film and will be featured in the automaker's movie-linked ad campaign in Europe from Omnicom Group's DDB in Germany, Ms. Sperber said.

Universal is preparing a promotion with Goggle for the movie, called "The Ultimate Search for Bourne," which is teased the film's website (thebourneultimatum.com).

Ms. Sperber said Universal has a "number of partners" for the third "Bourne" film, but it's too early to discuss details as marketers who place products in a film are often left on the cutting-room floor during the final edit.

Creative Entertainment Services, Los Angeles, now handles VW's product-placement efforts. But a CES rep said it didn't work on the current "Bourne" project, which was handled directly by VW's Michael Grollman, general manager-global entertainment marketing in Los Angeles.

Mr. Grollman declined to comment.
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