Hijacking the ad break with a car racing game

DDB Group Sydney | Volkswagen

Unexpected: In Australia, car brands are the second biggest advertisers on TV. That’s a lot of car ads. So, how could we stand out in a cluttered ad break to launch Volkswagen’s new Golf GTI? We hijacked the whole thing.

We booked the very first spot in prime-time commercial breaks, pushing viewers to scan a QR code that launched a live racing event for the exact length of the ad break.

Instead of watching our competitors’ ads, people raced ours, live, for the duration of the ad break. We turned a 30-second spot into a 3-minute brand experience – stealing attention from everyone’s ads, except ours.

Players could use the game to customise their car, explore new features, practice on custom tracks, and even book a test drive. And it wasn’t a one-off – we had a whole schedule of live races, which allowed people to sign up so they wouldn’t miss the next real-time race.

Not many ads can claim to make the ad break event-viewing, something people look forward to.
Oh, and we handed out a brand-new Golf GTI to one lucky winner.

Works: We stole $2.7 million in TV media, and drove some big results, crossing the finish line with VW’s most successful GTI launch ever.

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