Volkswagen's Dark Side: Stormtroopers invade the UK's Silicon Roundabout

Posted by Gemma Freeman — 28 June 2011 at 4:09pm - Comments

What a day: hijacking London's largest ad space, stormtroopers in Old Street trending on Twitter, blanket coverage in the PR press, called "masters of the PR stunt" and more than 2000 new people like us on Facebook in 12 hours, it's fair to say our latest campaign launch went well.

After months of careful planning, our campaign to encourage Volkswagen to stop opposing European climate laws began with a bang.

At 6am one of two crack teams of climbers descended on Old Street - to the locale nicknamed 'Silicon Roundabout' - to scale the UK's most prestigious billboard space with four #VWDarkside banners starring Darth Vader.

As rush hour kicked in, stormtroopers emerged onto the exits of Old Street underground station - standing on boomboxes broadcasting the Imperial March music onto the street, or unnerving commuters and cyclists, while volunteers gave out flyers and explained the issues to the public. Later the men in white gathered around the Foundry in the heart of Shoreditch as a second banner unrolled and thousands of people passed en route to work - see the slideshow above and video below.

The plan worked: everyone loves a bit of Star Wars, so within a couple of hours the tech-savvy passers-by meant #OldStreet and #Stormtroopers started trending worldwide. Here are a few of our fave tweets from the day:

Industry titles like Campaign, Brand Republic and PR Week covered our parody video, actions and site - followed by Shortlist, Metro, The Independent, MSN and more. The English versions of our video has clocked over half a million views (across all languages), plus more than 60,000 people have joined the VW Rebellion in just over 24 hours!

We also sent a smaller posse of troopers to Volkswagen HQ in Milton Keynes to explain the issue to employees. But while the buzz blew up online, what about VW? Have they committed to turn away from the Dark Side?

Follow the latest as it unravels via twitter hashtag #VWDarkside to find out...

Find out more about Greenpeace's VW Darkside campaign:

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About Gemma Freeman

Web Producer at Greenpeace UK, writer, photographer, blogger, surfer, snowboarder, cyclist, vegetarian and geek.

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