2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI
2010 Volkswagen Polo
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned Volkswagen's Australian campaign for the revamped Polo, which consists of a dazzling, interactive website (which we love) and a TV spot featuring hipsters from space (which kind of creeps us out). Now there's a new, Facebook element to that Polo campaign, and we have two things to say: (a) it's brilliant, and (b) it better make its way to the U.S.
The premise is shockingly simple: Volkswagen created a Facebook fan page for "Marco Polo", a fictional character like Spuds MacKenzie or that annoying Tanqueray guy who has his finger on the pulse of everything new and hip. Every so often, Marco posts updates to the page, like this:
"Eeny, meeeny miny, moe…who from PERTH will go…i've [sic] never been a word wizard but what I am good at is giving away tickets to gigs! My mates at Capitol have hooked me up with a spare double pass to Autechre's gig tongiht [sic]! The first person to yell POLO and the keyword CAPITOL...don't miss this, guys! Get typing- there is only one winner for this prize! Marco..."
Yes, we're a little surprised that The Kids are still listening to Autechre, and we're even more surprised that VW put such a terrible speller in charge of a major social media campaign. But otherwise, we're impressed with the straightforward concept and execution: basically, Marco offers his Facebook fans -- sorry: "likers" -- some cool stuff, and the likers respond by going to the page's "Play" tab and entering "POLO" plus the secret keyword. First person to respond wins. That's it. Genius.
It's interesting that VW chose to launch this campaign on Facebook rather than Twitter, which is slightly better equipped to handle such a project -- but then, Facebook does have the larger audience. It's also interesting that VW chose to launch this bit during Australia's winter, when we think of Marco Polo as a summertime pool game. But whatever: it's a great concept that can easily migrate to other platforms (think of the geolocation possibilities!), and we can't wait to see it play out here in the States.