Volkswagen Promo, Case study #GOLFGTIEXPERIMENT by DDB Madrid

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Industry Automotive, Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Spain
Agency DDB Madrid
Creative Director Juanra Alfaro
Art Director Cristian Jimenez, Liana Tavares
Copywriter Nerea Cierco, Xavi De La Cruz
Account Supervisor Javier Villalba
Released May 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Product/Service: GOLF GTI
Chief Creative Officer: Jose Mª Roca De Viñals (DDB Spain)
Creative Director: Juanra Alfaro (DDB Spain)
Copywriter: Xavi De Cruz (DDB Spain)
Copywriter: Nerea Cierco (DDB Spain)
Art Director: Cristian Jimenez (DDB Spain)
Art Director: Liana Tavares (DDB Spain)
Account Manager: Gorka Lozano (DDB Spain)
Account Supervisor: Javier Villalba (DDB Spain)
Account Supervisor Online: Thais Ruiz De Alda (DDB Spain)
Account Team: Esther Serrano (DDB Spain)
Account Team: Ester Vall (DDB Spain)
Tecnology Director: Emilio Gonzalez (DDB Spain)
Creative Coder: Pablo Sanchez (DDB Spain)
Media placement: Website - Http:// - 1st May 2011
Media placement: Social Networks - Facebook, Youtube, Twitter - 1st May 2011
Media placement: Blogs - Víctor Puig, FayerWayer, HighMotor, Copyloto, Good2b, Yorokobu, Loogic, El Último Blog, Motorfull, P - 1st May 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Challenge and Objectives:
After 35 years of maintaining its leadership within the Spanish market, the Golf GTI was threatened by its competitors. We had to do something to awaken its fans, something that would fire the conversation around it and that achieved an increase in the number of online test drive bookings. And it had to do all of it without support of any conventional media.

Strategy and Execution:
The latest scientific advances allow us to know what we see and what we feel when looking at something. And that gave us an idea: Why don't we try to find out what is it that Golf GTI has? What has made it a myth? What is its secret?

That´s how #GOLFGTIEXPERIMENT was born, a 100% real experiment that used the most advanced techniques in biosensory measurement to try and shed some light into the GTI myth.

As we expected, the experiment did not bring any light, but it served as an excuse to take the question to social media. It achieved in getting Golf GTI talked about again as something unique and special.

The real campaign had begun.

The Situation
The brand had used conventional media to position Golf GTI as a myth for several years, but its strategy had started to lose effectivity. We needed a 180 degree turn in its communication to make the car younger and connect with our younger target.

The Goal
We wanted to target people between 25-and 35-years-old, but the buyer’s data pointed out that the average age of a Golf GTI drivers was over 35.

The objective was to create a campaign capable of rejuvenating the model; capable of creating buzz on social media; and capable of reinforcing its positioning through the communication of the experiment. All these had to translate into an increase of test drive bookings.

To reach our target, we first sent custom pieces to different influencers. Through them we reached our fans. And from there, the conversation spread to all of our targets.

The Strategy
#GOLFGTIEXPERIMENT was, ostensibly, a real experiment to find out why the Golf GTI had become a myth. But its real objective was aiming way beyond that.

The experiment had to 'fail' to make everyone give their own view in social media. Everything was planned so it would end up this way, from the use of a hashtag as the name of the experiment to the teaser campaign and the action with bloggers. The experiment had to make Golf GTI discussed again as something unique and special, and to generate content that would transform Golf GTI into an object of research.

Bloggers/influencers campaign (phase 1): We sent a Golf GTI model as an invitation for the most influential 10 automotive bloggers in Spain.

Experiment (2 weeks): We hired the best specialists in neuro-marketing in the world, the GFK institute.

Teaser (one month): We uploaded 10 teasers to YouTube that served as kick-starters to build the buzz.

Bloggers/influencers campaign (phase 2): We sent the models back to the bloggers; this time they were customised with their own results from the eye tracking experiment, which were painted on the car.

Launch (1.5 months): We launched the campaign through Facebook, Twitter and the blog posts from the 10 guest bloggers. Everything drove traffic to the Experiment´s documentary as well as to an experiential site where one could see the experiment´s results. We didn´t need much more. We had created content capable of becoming viral itself.

Documented Results
• On YouTube, 1,100 users discussed our 'failure'.
• 950,000 users put forward their theories on Twitter.
• #GOLFGTIEXPERIMENT became a trending topic.
• On Facebook, 1,800,000 users also talked about the GTI myth.
• Overall, more than 25m people joined the conversation.
• The campaign achieved a free coverage valued in €290,000.
• The test drive bookings were 140% higher than those in any other campaign from the brand to date.