The Process

Over 3 weeks we gave a few hundred successful applicants a Polo GTI to test drive for a night. But there were conditions:

  • Anyone who got the car had to take someone on a date.
  • They also had to let us secretly analyse the success of their date.
  • Broadcast it live on our website.

The Idea

Can a hot car make you sexier? People have always thought so. But no-one’s ever proven it. Then Volkswagen asked us to launch the hot New Polo GTI and we thought; it’s time to try. Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive – a live experiment to calculate exactly how much sexier a Polo GTI can make you.

3 weeks, 2 cities, 20 cars, 1 website, hidden heart-rate monitors, a customised phone app, YouTube videos, a Twitter-feed and hundreds of dates in the New Polo GTI.


The Microsite

Datedrive.co.za was the campaign headquarters. The microsite allowed people to apply for a Date Drive. This was done by answering a simple dating questionnaire. The site also housed Date Drive videos and broadcast various live statistics gathered during our experiment. Hidden heart-rate monitors on each driver tracked their excitement levels on the website, in real-time. A customised Android phone app mapped their smallest movements on our site, live. The app also let drivers send secret updates from their dates to our site and twitter feed, for all to read. In 4 weeks, the site received 112 402 visits from 32 528 unique visitors. 93.98% of visitors returned to view the content more than once and 17.27% returned more than 26 times.

Microsite - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive

  • Microsite - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
  • Microsite - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
  • Microsite - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
  • Microsite - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive


Web Banner

A web banner generated interest in the campaign. The ad housed a 40 second Teaser video, enticing people to the website. The banner received 830 Facebook likes, with a total of 3,343 people clicking from the banner to the microsite.

Display Ad - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive


Heart-Rate Monitor & Phone App

Each driver was strapped with a hidden heart-rate monitor for the duration of their date. This heart rate monitor communicated with a specialised Andriod phone application that we developed. The phone application then passed real-time readings to our website. Readings included: the driver’s location, their smallest movements and their heart rate. The customised app also let drivers send secret updates from their dates to our site and twitter feed.

Android Heart Rate Monitor App - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive Android Heart Rate Monitor App - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive Android Heart Rate Monitor App - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive


Online videos

Hidden cameras trailed many of the dates, giving us video evidence of what happened. Footage from these cameras was edited the next morning and uploaded to YouTube and our website. At the time of writing, the 7 secret videos plus the teaser have been viewed 20,900 times.


Facebook Tab

A custom Facebook Tab was built. The tab allowed people to interact with the campaign and apply for a Date Drive from Facebook. The Facebook custom tab was used 3 304 times and it referred 5 074 people to the microsite during the campaign.

Facebook Tab - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive


Twitter Feed

Each Date Driver was given a customised Date Drive phone app, linking them directly to the Date Drive Website and Twitter-feed. Drivers used the app to send secret updates from their dates to our site and Twitter feed. The Twitter-feed was monitored and updated by the Date Drive team. In 4 weeks, the Twitter account grew from 0 to 650 followers. More importantly, a variety of influential tweeters such as Claire Mawisa and DJ Fresh (who has 90 000 followers) regularly tweeted about the campaign, ensuring the campaign had extensive reach.

Twitter - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive


PR Coverage

PR was tasked with promoting the Polo GTI Date Drive campaign and in turn, the New Polo GTI. With a PR budget of R125,812, a total of R2,220,203 of coverage was generated. This represented a 18:1 return on PR investment. The campaign was mentioned on a multitude of radio stations, in major newspapers, in magazines, on blogs and all over the internet.

  • PR Coverage - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
  • PR Coverage - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
  • PR Coverage - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive
PR Coverage - Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive

Radio Campaign

A Date Drive radio promotion flighted on 5fm for 1 week during the campaign. Listeners could win R5,000 and a Date Drive in the New Polo GTI. To win, participants would phone the station, provide a phone number for a love-interest of their choice and then ask that love-interest out, live on-air. Love interests were unaware that the nation was listening. The promo generated loads discussion and directed people to the Date Drive website.

Campaign Results Summary

The Date Drive Campaign generated 58,042 unique online interactions (excluding Twitter, which we haven’t officially measured).There were 112,402 visits to the microsite, in under a month. 32,528 were unique visitors. 93.98% of visitors returned to view the content more than once. 17.27% of visitors returned more than 26 times. Date Drive Accumulated a 18:1 return on PR in investment. The Twitter-feed grew from 0 to 650 followers in 4 weeks. Date Drive YouTube Videos have been viewed 9,247 times during the 4 week campaign period The Date Drive Facebook tab was used 3,304 times and referred 5,074 people to the micro-site. Date Drive ensured that The New Polo GTI sold out a few weeks after it’s launch. It also proved that driving a New Polo GTI really can make you sexier. A total of 27.8%.


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