PHD Australia has helped Volkswagen launch a lockdown-friendly car racing stunt to launch the new Golf GTI in the Australian market.

Combining the power of television advertising with the mobile phone, the campaign gives Australians the chance to compete to win a GTI in a mobile racing event dubbed the “Golf Ad Break Championship”.

Watch the video below:

On Monday the 19th of July, viewers of The Project on Viacom CBS’ Network 10 were prompted during the first ad in a break to scan a QR code flashing across their TV screens and compete in the mobile car-racing game which ran for the entire ad break.

“It all stemmed from the consumer content that we are all staring at – video and consumer content – and not necessarily getting engaged and being part of something,” Volkswagen marketing communications manager Rowena Kanna said.

“What we wanted to do is create a call of arms. The limitations we have is that we can’t get people into cars all the time – the current situation [Greater Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns] is the perfect reason why we can’t get cars out there – but how can we get people having fun? How do we get people to engage and have fun with us as a brand? The game seemed like the right thing. It’s a natural fit.”

Created by Omnicom Group’s adverting agency DDB Sydney and its digital sister agency Tribal, the game, which is aimed at 25- to 45-year-olds, is part of the “Everyday Escape” campaign to launch the new Golf and Golf GTI.

The game was developed by studio Art of Play and runs as a web-based game, meaning no app is needed to participate.

PHD handled all media buying, to ensure the campaign could effectively “hack” an entire ad break, and secure the first 30-second ad spot.

PHD business director Dixie Garcia said the agency evaluated several television properties before landing on Network 10’s The Project, as well as on Fox Sports and Kayo, as the best environment to run the ad and race itself.

“It just came down to what was the best fit for the brand and also audience as well,” she said.  “We want to make sure we’re hitting as many people as we can. The 7pm Project is one of those appointments in news programming … it’s the right environment for our audience as well.”

People were encouraged to practise their racing skills ahead of Monday evening’s championship race, with Volkswagen plastering the QR code to access the game across out-of-home ad billboards in train station platforms and bus shelters across the country.

Read the full article at The Australian Financial Review