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VW Scores In-Game World Cup Action With Web Play

Boxed Out of Games on TV, Volkswagen Finds Way to Target Fans

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Advertising Age Player

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil starts today. Which means it's time for non-sponsor Volkswagen of America to roll out its ambush marketing plans for the Golf GTI against official auto partner Hyundai Motor America.

VW's ad agency Deutsch, Los Angeles, will dance around Hyundai's exclusive sponsorship of TV halftime shows on ESPN and Univision by inserting so-called "Gooooooooolf Celebration Videos" on ESPN.com and Univision.com.

When goals are scored, these digital banners will pop up. Viewers will see different-colored GTI's (matching the national colors of the country that scored) racing across the pitch. Instead of the familiar fan cry of "Gooooooooooooal" they'll hear "Goooooooooolf" to promote the performance-oriented GTI, which VW says is more popular with younger and Hispanic car buyers.

The company is also planning a homepage takeover of both ESPNFC.com on June 24 and ESPN.com July 4. In addition, VW is sponsoring the Univision Fan Forum, where Univision editors pose questions for readers.

Meanwhile, Hispanic agency COD is breaking a new TV spot called "Play by Play" starring Argentinian sports commentator Andres Cantor teaching his son how to drive a GTI. The famous play-by-play announcer sounds like he's calling a World Cup match as he instructs Junior behind the wheel. Edelman Digital will weigh in for VW with digital marketing on Twitter and other social media channels.

"We are delighted to align Andres' iconic status in the sports world with Volkswagen's global brand heritage," said Vinay Shahani, VW's VP-marketing in a statement.

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