Volkswagen is the leading rally motorsport team, winning all major titles in recent years. However, rally has been the underdog of motorsport – yes, it has its die-hard fans, but it has lacked wider appeal.
We set ourselves the task to change public perception and raise awareness of the rally sport. We set our sights on a wider target audience of young, enthusiastic, car-lovers across the globe. By broadening the appeal of the sport we would recruit new fans to the Volkswagen rally team and thus the brand itself.
In 2013, we teamed up with Volkswagen to devise the RALLY THE WORLD campaign for the motorsport team, setting up Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube and Instagram channels. Now, our task was to populate these channels with video content tailored for each platform. To attract, engage and fundamentally grow the fanbase of each social platform whilst aligning with the global Volkswagen brand.
In 2015, we devised the global storytelling campaign, DO IT FOR THE DRIVE across the RALLY THE WORLD digital platforms. Using video, the ultimate storytelling medium, to communicate a passion for driving - a passion which unites rally sport in general and the Volkswagen brand.
We populated the channels with many bite-size videos. Covering 13 rallies, across 4 continents, each one became a spring-board to tell humorous and entertaining stories surrounding the sport. Stories which not only would excite the super-fans but could relate to and entertain ordinary, young, car lovers also.
The videos acted as an alternative behind-the-scenes for the Volkswagen motorsport team. Creating different scenarios inspired the country, history and challenges of each rally. For Rally Sweden we took the universal frustration of IKEA's self-assembly furniture into the Volkswagen garage. Creating a sketch where a mechanic receives the infamous IKEA manual to assemble the Polo WRC R. He scratches his head at the prospect of the thousands parts he must put together. Then, we cut to the single, tiny Allen-key they've supplied for him to do the job.
Other times, we brought the individual rally challenges into the spotlight. The heavy dust of Rally Italy inspired a short clip that shows the Polo WRC R speeding ahead of its own dust trail -a car so fast that even its own dust needs to play catch up.
We weren't afraid to poke fun at the Volkswagen team either. When the rally traveled from Argentina to Portugal we imagined that driver, Jari-Matti Latvala undertook the trans-Atlantic journey in the same shipping container as his beloved Polo WRC R. As the container doors open 3 weeks later in Portugal, Latvala appears like a bear from hibernation. The usually clean-shaven driver, almost unrecognisable with long beard, we see him comedically stretch and then get back in his Polo - the ultimate dedication.
Alongside this, we used onsite phone footage- showing the rally from a fan's perspective. Instead of posting this as standard live footage, we would add a twist. At Rally Finland, we used one of their most famous exports- an oldschool Nokia phone. We see a fan playing the ever nostalgic game of 'Snake'. However, the snake is replaced by an 8-bit Polo. As it makes its way around the phone screen it appears to start to exit the phone. With perfect timing and alignment a real Polo WRC R zooms past, taking on its path and totally surprising the community of rally fans. Using live footage meant a very short windows of time to create, cut and edit together footage while the rally was
RALLY THE WORLD has become Volkswagen's most successful content campaign. It created awareness and enthusiasm that went far beyond the die-hard rally fans. Through accessible medium of video, we encouraged existing fans to share content with not only the rally community, but with their larger social circles. Enabling the campaign to reach our target audience both effectively and organically.
By doing so, DO IT FOR THE DRIVE not only exceeded all Volkswagen's expectations, but also pulverised their objectives too. 365 days of content translated into 365 million page impressions. We entertained millions of people who were not yet part of their fan base. Our content generated an impressive 60 million video views. And we achieved 40% of our reach organically -without the use of paid media.
We covered all 13 rallies of the 2015 season creating videos tailored to each individual rally, alongside live onsite footage and posted them whilst each rally was ongoing. Engaging with the community in real-time throughout to triple fan commitment during the season.