The new commercial portrays the innovative new Volkswagen Polo navigating through a futuristic and gamified version of Mzansi – the Mzansiverse – with digital avatar characters to match.
Sam Coleman, the commercial’s director, was passionate about ensuring that Johannesburg, the city the ad was shot and set in, featured as a strong character throughout the ad.
“To recreate Johannesburg but maintain reality was crucial to me,“ said Coleman. “It was about creating a Johannesburg that has never been seen before. I wanted to feel like a switch had been flicked taking Joburg into the future. Then at the same time, I wanted the characteristics of Joburg to still be felt.“
Five unique Polo NFT Collections were created and inserted into the commercial for fans to find in order to stand a chance to win them. The aim was to gamify the fan experience to deliver not only an entertaining ad but one that rewards fans for their participation.
The commercial and NFT collections are all locally created. The #GameOnVW campaign was conceptualised locally by creative partners (Ogilvy Cape Town), produced locally (Patriot Films) and developed locally (Polycat). The commercial’s soundtrack was created by South African music team, Field, featuring local songstress, Moonchild Sanelly, with sound design created by local studio, Resonate.
The commercial took a five-night shoot, over six weeks of post-production animation and CGI and a multitude of animation software to transform the streets of Johannesburg into the Mzansiverse, along with its avatar characters. Giving the ad an authentic cinematic gaming feel, Coleman, and production house, Patriot Films, utilised a specialised team of drone pilots to shoot all of the Polo footage from aerial shots only.
“Our new Polo Mzansiverse commercial and NFT campaign is testament to our brand having an eye on the future, not only in the innovation of our vehicles but in our ambition to embrace the passions of our customers and drive evolution in how we engage with them through our marketing executions,” said Bridget Harpur, head of marketing for the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand.