Winner 2022




Entered by:

PHD Germany


Twitch, DDB/Voltage

The New Polo Challenger Series: Conquering New Stadiums

The Challenge

As a result of the pandemic, life shifted more to the home and consequently also to the digital world. Many people’s media consumption has changed accordingly. Younger people in particular are almost no longer accessible via traditional media. And many of this on-demand generation find advertising banners annoying. Accordingly, a behaviour called “Joy of Missing-Out” can increasingly be observed. In other words, the conscious and active decision to avoid unwanted advertising messages.

So, the aim was to reach a young target group that had previously been unreachable due to ad blockers and ad-avoiding media behaviour. Our goal for Volkswagen was to specifically counteract the “Joy of Missing-Out”, to manifest and increase the new Volkswagen Polo within the target group’s relevant set and generate an brand uplift.

The Content Solution

One digital platform whose user and access figures increased steadily during the pandemic and to this day is Twitch. The so called DACH-region, Germany, Austria and Switzerland plays an important role here, as the world’s second-largest market – after the USA – in terms of viewer numbers.

For some time now, gaming and e-sports have been very popular, especially in the young (18 – 35 years) target group which is highly represented on Twitch. An audience that is ideally suited to the target group for the new VW Polo. (Twitch is not just for 15 years old nerds who are out of scope for VW). Also highly suited is the Game “Rocket League” – The game principle most closely resembles a car ball game, in which the players (approx. 100k each month) try to get a somewhat larger ball into the opponent’s goal with the help of cars.

The core of the strategy for Volkswagen Polo was to specifically counteract the “Joy of Missing-Out” behaviour of the young target group.

Consequently, Volkswagen had to be present exactly where the target group has shifted its media attention – to gaming – and to do so as authentically and invitingly as possible in order to achieve an efficient and successful media campaign.

In this context, numerous car manufacturers focus on e-sports – a prominent but comparatively small part of the gaming world – by sponsoring teams or leagues, for example.
Twitch, the world’s leading interactive live streaming service in gaming, on the other hand, opened a much wider perspective for Volkswagen. Especially because of the young and tech-savvy community, Twitch was the perfect platform to present the new VW Polo to the young target group.

After all, the new model from Volkswagen comes with technical features that are only known from the premium segment.

Therefore, the aim was to reach the gaming community with the product promise “Can do more” and to anchor the new Polo sustainably and positively in the relevant set of young buyers.

To fulfil this promise, we developed a community tournament in the popular online game “Rocket League” together with Twitch. An energetic mixture of arcade football and chaotic driving fun.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Under the slogan “we have to conquer new stadiums” we managed to transfer VWs interest in Football to the gaming
segment on which the tournament is based. With this analogy VWs management did see the value.

The newly born “The New Polo Challenger Series” was something new to VW and Twitch influencers while presenting the “can do more” promise of the new Polo to viewers and followers.

Twitch influencers & gamers were thus given the chance to take part in a professional, competitive tournament – in a game that is new to them and thus offers new content for their viewers.

In addition, they could invite their community to form a team with them and compete against other teams in a professional e-sports format. In addition, the winning team could win a new polo each – for themselves as well as their community.

With this approach, we were able to provide a target group that avoids advertising through adblockers with a unique
experience that combines all the things they love in their media behaviour:

a) Gameplay that they can participate in themselves,
b) competition,
c) exciting gaming content,
d) personal contact with their favourite influencers and
e) the opportunity to win a new car through play.

The Result

Viewers in Germany couldn’t get enough of our industry-first gaming league on Twitch… and reached a cumulative viewing time of almost 10 years!

The move to not only be part of the gaming community, but to shape gaming itself paid off:
Brand uplift Volkswagen (relevant brand set):

• +3% points within the male target group 18-35 years.
• +4% points within the target group of Rocket League viewers on Twitch (zero measurement in the summer before the tournament / main measurement directly after the campaign)

The media results to prove it are:

• Use of Programmatic-Non-Skippable, 30” PreRolls with over 15,8 million impressions, 45,000 clicks (CTR of 0.41%), and a ViewThroughRate of over 80%.
• High-reach daily fix placements to flank the live tournament with first impression takeovers (non-skippable, 30” PreRolls) and homepage headliners as display brandings with a total of over 4.7 million impressions and over 15,000 clicks, with a CTR of 0.32%.

In Total:
More than 1.13 million live views of Volkswagen branded content with more than 10.000 simultaneous unique live viewers in the final tournament.

More than 5 million minutes (equals 9.6 years!) of high-quality Volkswagen branded content watched live.
The highest number of “minutes watched” ever achieved for a brand activation in Germany on Twitch!