Grand Prix

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceVOLKSWAGEN GOLF
CategoryB04. Use of Broadcast
EntrantDDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation DDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement PHD Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Ben Welsh DDB Group Sydney Chief Creative Officer
Matt Chandler DDB Group Sydney Executive Creative Director
David Jackson Tribal Executive Creative Director
Tommy Cehak DDB Group Sydney Creative Director
Tim Woolford DDB Group Sydney Creative Director
Tom Lawrence DDB Group Sydney Copywriter
Samuel Raftl DDB Group Sydney Art Director
Andy Lee Tribal Digital Designer
Vinny Salinos Tribal Digital Designer
Anna Domeij Track Digital/UX Designer
Jessie Staszkiewicz Track CRM/CX Copywriter

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

Research told us that, more than ever, people were reaching for their mobiles during TV commercial breaks. This meant that todays’ TV buys simply weren’t generating the same ROI. With a fraction of the media budget, we needed to work smarter. So, we turned a TV ad into a direct response live gaming platform. The idea centred around an ad that played in the first slot in the commercial break and asked viewers to scan a code on screen with their phone. This code took viewers directly to a mobile racing tournament playable for the duration of the ad break.


We were tasked with launching the latest model of the iconic Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI. With a TV media budget that was significantly less than our competitors, we needed a new way to get noticed. The objective was to introduce the Golf to Australia and generate test drives and leads, while framing the new model as an exciting, modern hot-hatch.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

Instead of creating just a TVC, we decided to turn ours into a live interactive gaming platform. Through a close media agency collaboration, we purchased the first ad in ad breaks during high profile TV shows. The ad featured a QR code that, when scanned, launched an in-browser Golf racing game. Users would then race live, against everyone else who scanned the code, for the exact duration of the ad break. Turning a 30 second ad into 3 minutes with Volkswagen. All for a chance to win a Golf for real. The activation was such a success that we designed even more tracks and used OOH, Print and online to let people practise for the main events which we released via a schedule - getting people to tune in to shows just to watch our ad.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

The new Golf and Golf GTI were tech-heavy hot-hatches, which made the target audience primarily younger and tech-savvy. By embracing a gaming format, we were able to talk to this younger demographic, but by making the game an in-browser experience (thereby removing the need for app downloads) we made the barrier to entry incredibly low. Our strategy relied on research that told us that due to an over-saturation of car ads in the market, consumers had grown more weary and less engaged. They were also more inclined to give attention to the second screen (mobile/tablet) during ad breaks. By buying the first spot in ad breaks and giving consumers a way to enhance the commercial break experience with their mobile phone, we were able to capture a much more engaged audience.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Working with high-profile mobile gaming company ‘Art of Play’ we pushed the limits and capabilities of in-browser mobile gaming. Removing the barrier of requiring an app download, creating an in-browser game is significantly challenging, but we were able to develop three tracks as well as a customisable Golf GTI garage. The tracks were designed to be difficult enough that they would take most of a standard 3 minute commercial break to complete, but not so difficult that people would give up playing. The campaign received a major launch and we hacked over 20 ad breaks, over a three week period. The main event races ran during prime time during the ad breaks of Australia’s most popular shows. After the initial activation we then rolled out boredom busting OOH, social and print that ran on over 500 placements across transit, digital and social.

List the results (30% of vote)

The Ad Break Championship received over 70,000 plays, and more than 90,000 visits to the campaign page which was a traffic increase of 97%. It clocked up a over 5,000 hours of active game time, hijacking over 2.7 million dollars in media from other brands whose ads appeared in the same commercial break. We made a major impact on our brand perception, doubling brand metrics for both ‘inspiring’ and ‘exciting’. Dealer callbacks went up 436%, stock enquiries went up 97%, and test drives went up 725%. Most importantly, sales of the Golf went up by 55% in our active campaign period.