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Volkswagen Hacks the Ad Break with Mobile Racing Game to Launch New Golf

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DDB Group Sydney and Volkswagen get Aussies to race against each other during TV ad breaks for a chance to win one

Volkswagen Hacks the Ad Break with Mobile Racing Game to Launch New Golf

Why watch ads when you can play them? Volkswagen has hacked the ad break in a new campaign out of DDB Group Sydney, giving viewers the chance to race the new Golf GTI live against everyone watching the same ad break.

From 7pm tonight, people can tune into The Project on Channel 10 and, during the ad break, compete to win a GTI in the first-ever live mobile racing event - the ‘Golf Ad Break Championship’. 

Created by DDB Sydney and Tribal with game development studio Art of Play, races run for only the length of each ad break, with players vying to beat a qualifying time for the chance to win the car. Developed as a web-based game, it requires no app download to participate. 

In collaboration with PHD, Volkswagen has booked the first spot in ad breaks across tent-pole Channel 10 and Fox shows. A custom ‘game launch’ TVC will feature a QR code throughout that takes players to the live racing tournament.

Meanwhile, people can practise racing the GTI ahead of each Championship race on three Aussie-inspired tracks, accessible via QR codes located at typically ‘boring’ places such as train station platforms and bus shelters across the country, or by visiting

Volkswagen Australia brand manager Hayley Phillips said: “We’re always looking for ways to break through in a cluttered market and do something that stands out. Bringing the new Golf to market is an important milestone for us, and the idea behind Golf Ad Break Championship provided us the perfect platform to launch the icon and get people involved and excited with us. 

“We’re positioning the Golf as the antidote to the everyday, so what better way to prove that than racing it in something as everyday as an ad break?”

DDB Sydney creative directors Tim Woolford and Tommy Cehak said: “What was really exciting to us was the idea of ‘eventising’ the ad break. Turning it into something people look forward to, and tune in for, as much as the show itself. Rather than looking at the second screen as a barrier to people engaging with our ad, we looked to embrace it as the reason they do.”

The clever media play means that Volkswagen owns three minutes of an ad break versus the 30 seconds of a standard spot.

PHD Sydney business director Dixie Garcia said: “This campaign enabled us to reframe a typical ad break, making it more of a lean-in moment rather than a passive one. The challenge was to not just be guaranteed the first ad break position, but to also ensure the Golf Race lasts for the exact length of the ad break itself."

The game is part of DDB Sydney’s ‘Everyday Escape’ campaign to launch the new Golf and Golf GTI and is supported by a range of other media assets, including OOH shot by acclaimed fashion photographer, Juli Balla, and a hero TVC directed by Selina Miles. 

The first of multiple Championship races will be held tonight, with further rounds on 26th July, 2nd August, 9th August, 14th August, and 21st August, across Channel 10, Fox Sports, and Kayo. Players can check the schedule for each of the rounds by visiting here.  

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Client: Volkswagen Group Australia

Marketing Communications Manager: Rowena Kanna

Brand Communications Manager: Hayley Phillips

Digital Customer Acquisition and Retention Manager: Tully Challen

Digital & E-commerce Manager: Stephanie Overton

DDB Sydney

Chief Creative Officer: Ben Welsh

Executive Creative Director: Matt Chandler

Creative Director: Tommy Cehak

Creative Director: Tim Woolford

Creative Director: David Jackson

Art Director: Sam Raftl

Copywriter: Tom Lawrence

Managing Partner: Mandy Whatson

Senior Business Director: Nicole Drabsch

Business Manager: Izzy Crohan

Planning Director: James Davis

Chief Strategy Officer: Fran Clayton

Head of Integrated Content: Renata Barbosa

Senior Lead Producer: Tania Jeram

Junior Producer: Emily Wood

Senior Producer: John Wood


National Managing Director: David Rennie

Group Business Director: Kenny McLeod

Technical Programme Director: Emma Fyfe

Project Manager: Sebastian Bennett-Leat

Senior Producer: Georgina Hardy

Business Manager: Alasdair Kay

Designer Director: Fabien Clemency

Digital Designer: Andy Lee

Digital Designer: Vinny Salinos


Senior Business Manager: Harrison Schaap

Senior CX/CRM & Data Planner: Nichola Preston

Senior Data Analyst: Dave Birchall

Digital/UX Designer: Anna Domeij

CRM/CX Copywriter: Jessie Staszkiewicz

Game Development

Game Development Studio: Art of Play

Director: Ash Nicholls

Lead developer: Billy Deakin

3D Environment artist: Josh Thomas

3D Vehicle and environment artist: Henry Bullen

Music: Clark About


Production Company: Scoundrel

Director: Selina Miles

Executive Producer: Adrian Shapiro

Producer: Morgan Benson-Taylor

Offline Edit

Offline Edit: Adam Wills

Online & Grade: White Chocolate


Sound: Sonar Music

Executive Producer: Sophie Haydon

Composer: Jono Ma

Sound Designer: Timothy Bridge


Photography Agency: The Kitchen

Photographer: Juli Balla


Media: PHD

Group Investment Director: Brittany Crowley

Investment Manager: Christine Chen

Business Director: Dixie Garcia

Categories: Automotive, Cars

DDB Sydney, Mon, 19 Jul 2021 11:07:31 GMT