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HERNDON, Va. — Volkswagen of America is looking to leverage worldwide enthusiasm for the upcoming World Cup with its latest ad campaign.

The automaker on Thursday launched a contest calling on soccer "fanaticos" to express their passion for the game for a chance to win an appearance in a national TV spot during the World Cup. Consumers can upload videos to the Volkswagen Facebook fan page where several winners will be chosen to appear on a prime-time Volkswagen television commercial to air on Univision.

Company executives have recruited soccer legends "Ramoncito" Morales, former captain of Chivas de Guadalajara, and Ramon Ramirez, one of the best players in the history of Mexican soccer, to encourage soccer fans to create and upload their own "fanstitial" videos documenting their passion for soccer.

In addition to the user-generated ad, Volkswagen plans to air a series of vignettes and three other 30-second television commercials during the World Cup. The automaker stressed each part is aimed to increase familiarity and consideration for the Volkswagen brand and its breadth of models.

Executives explained one of the spots titled "Flags" will feature fans driving different Volkswagen models while prominently displaying each of their nations' flags with pride. They believe each commercial communicates the various types of fans in the world and that there is a different VW model for each of them.

Volkswagen also mentioned it anticipates having significant bilingual digital presence on Facebook, Yahoo en Espanol and MSN Latino, as well as grassroots efforts at dealerships, MLS games and community soccer tournaments throughout the United States.

Globally, the automaker reiterated it has been a longtime supporter of soccer. Executives pointed out the brand is the title sponsor of Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, and owns the VFL Wolfsburg football club at its global headquarters. They also noted Volkswagen of America is the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer and is a title sponsor of D.C. United.

The automaker also is looking to continue its grassroots soccer tour with a 19-city mobile marketing schedule showcasing Volkswagen's product family at local youth soccer tournaments.

With the World Cup being considered one of the most popular events on the planet, VW executives are eager to generate more enthusiasm for soccer and their vehicle lineup during this year's competition.

"With its immense popularity among various cultures, the World Cup provides the ultimate global stage to further engage our customers, expand our reach and support our aggressive growth strategy," explained Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing for Volkswagen of America.

"The passion fans have for soccer is unparalleled, and this gives us a unique opportunity to reward them for their support," Ellis added.