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The Golf Ad Break Championship

Volkswagen

Issue 60 | September 2021

Agency

DDB Sydney

Creative Team

Chief Creative Officer Ben Welsh Executive Creative Director Matt Chandler Creative Directors Tommy Cehak, Tim Woolford, David Jackson Art Director Sam Raftl Copywriter Tom Lawrence

Production Team

Head of Integrated Content Renata Barbosa Senior Lead Producer Tania Jeram Senior Producer John Wood Junior Producer Emily Wood Project Manager Sebastian Bennett-Leat Senior Producer Georgina Hardy Designer Director Fabien Clemency Digital Designers Andy Lee, Vinny Salinos Game Development Studio Art of Play

Date

July – August 2021

Background

The task was to launch the new Golf GTI. The problem was that the media budget wasn’t enough to make enough impact with a TV ad alone, especially when compared with the media spend of VW’s biggest competitors.

Idea

The Golf Ad Break Championship was the first TV ad viewers could play, giving them the chance to race the new Golf GTi live against everyone else watching the same ad break, thus turning a 30-second commercial into a three-minute engagement.

Filmed to look as if the viewers are on a racetrack, the TV ad always ran as the first ad in the break. It featured a QR code which redirected viewers to a site where they were immediately entered into a race that lasted the length of the entire ad break. Those who completed the race within the qualifying time got the chance to win a new GTi.

Posters placed in dreary locations such as train stations and bus shelters invited people to scan the QR code and warm up for the main event on TV by practising on one of three different virtual tracks, where they could also customize their GTi and learn more about the car.

Turning the race into a nationwide event, posters and ads publicized the schedules of when and where the ad would be airing.

Results

The campaign is ongoing so results are not yet final but in the first two weeks the game was played more than 40,000 times

Our Thoughts

Plenty of brands have used QR codes in their TV ads but to actually get people to pick up their phones and scan the screen is another matter. This idea, however, offers not one but two incentives to viewers. One, a new GTi. Two, and arguably the more powerful lure, three minutes of fun. Oh the irony of it, an ad that works because it provides an alternative to watching the ads.

Most commercials are passive experiences. By contrast, this gets people actively involved and thus almost certainly more likely to absorb the brand message, which, apparently, is to appreciate the GTi as ‘the antidote to the everyday’. On giving young Australians the antidote to the 30-second commercial they’ve cracked it.

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