|Product / Service
|E07. Content Placement
|DDB SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
|DDB SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
|RIOT CONTENT Northcote, AUSTRALIA
|Chief Creative Officer
|Executive Creative Director
|Chief Executive Officer
|Senior Business Director
|Senior Business Manager
|Head of Integrated Content
|General Manager Marketing
|Marketing Communications Manager
|Brand Communications Specialist
The new Volkswagen Polo is a great choice for younger, millennial drivers. It’s inexpensive, fun – and packed with safety features. But for this generation, driving runs the risk of slowly evolving into an unproductive chore. And safety features didn’t make the car any more appealing. That put us in a tricky situation. We needed to make these safety features feel fun and relevant to a younger generation. And we couldn’t just tell them with a flashy television spot, because they probably wouldn’t see it – or care.
The Volkswagen Polo is packed with safety tech. And while this safety tech doesn’t excite our younger audience, it does help them fail less. So we found a way into their social feeds by creating a fail video, with a twist: there was no fail. Instead, our safety tech saved the day. We used a strategic seeding process to leak an unbranded version of this video online to viral sites and meme pages – letting it do its thing in the viral universe. Several million views and dozens of international publications later, we retargeted the same audience with a branded version of the video, strategically revealing the cheeky caper to potential Polo customers.
While the new Polo looks great, its biggest standout features are its safety features and innovations - elements that are not key purchase drivers our target audience - young SINKS & DINKS (20 – 34 years old). This demographic are digital natives and connectivity is crucial to them. They value the opinions of their peers and influencers, and can navigate and evade the heavy-handed messaging often served to them in traditional formats. By tapping into the viral world and hiding our message in a fail video, we got our audience to actively share our messaging and promote the new Polo. The best part? They ended up celebrating the cheeky reveal that this video was part of the Volkswagen Polo campaign.
The internet can spot a fake video in seconds. We spent days making sure our video looked like any other user-generated viral video – from orientation to scaled-back quality. Next, we had to leak it online. But we needed a real person with a fitting social feed: @jstrakertroublemaker. Acting like he had filmed it, we executed a strategic viral seeding strategy, sharing the video with a custom database of viral sites and meme pages. The views racked up immediately, across dozens of websites, YouTube videos and TV shows. We tracked them all, waiting until popularity had reached its peak. Then, we implemented a retargeting strategy that identified promising leads who had viewed the video, and followed it up with a branded version that appeared in their Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat feeds. Planning began in 2017, while the creative execution began in July 2018. We launched the unfail video in August.
The result was 147.6 million views (and rising), with $17.8 million in earned media. All leading to a record 11.8% increase in market share and a 95% increase in dealer leads – smashing the intended business goals. The Polo Unfail campaign also had a targeted brand lift study associated with it, which produced hugely favourable results for the Volkswagen brand and Polo as an individual model. This included 5.3% lift in Awareness, a 4.2% increase in safety association and a 5.9% increase in affinity and brand perception. The campaign also increased unique visitors to the Volkswagen homepage recording a 9.4% lift.