Digitalising Live Rally Experiences

When Volkswagen created the RALLYTHEWORLD campaign to promote their commitment in the World Rally Championship (WRC) the Avantgarde Cologne office took over its entire live communication. It all revolves around the RALLYTHEWORLD stand, an exciting and interactive brand experience. The target audience – consumers of all ages, gamers, and motorsports fans – can experience the fascination of rallye driving. RFID wristbands made it easy to share these experiences on social media and gather valuable consumer data.

Daniel Sack from our Cologne office is in charge of the project, which just launched into its second year. We sat down with him to learn more about the project.

What makes the RALLYTHEWORLD project particularly exciting for you?

The WRC is one of the most impressive motorsports series in the world. I have been involved with several other series, but the stuff the rally pilots do with their cars is breathtaking. What other racing car will jump up to 70 meters mid race? The whole fascination of Volkswagen’s involvement in the WRC is brought to life with the RALLYTHEWORLD stand. Visitors can experience the tour live on stage and through the latest in RFI technology they can share the experience and excitement with their Facebook friends. We don’t just talk about digitalisation of live experiences, we create a direct and innovative link: „live experience meets digital world“ – in the spirit of the RALLYTHEWORLD claim „Excitement We Share“.

What were the main challenges?

The beginnings back in spring 2013 were arguably the biggest challenge. After winning the pitch we had only three months to build the entire stand, the complex IT infrastructure and the interactive apps. The diverse set of locations has also proven to be a constant challenge. The stand concept must work at all times, no matter what the event’s requirements or the weather conditions are – we’ve brought the stand everywhere from big festivals to inner cities to the WRC stages „in the middle of nowhere.“

We don’t just talk about digitalisation of live experiences, we create a direct and innovative link: „live experience meets digital world“

Where has the RALLYTHEWORLD tour already stopped?

Last year we stopped in six different countries on our RALLYTHEWORLD Tour – GTI Meeting at Wörthersee/Austria, the Goodwood Festival of Speed/UK, the Rally Finland, the Rallye Germany in Cologne, the Strassbourg Rallye/France, and the Salou Rallye in Spain. This year we will once again launch into a European rallye tour, and it is going to be even bigger: 9 events in 7 countries – „Bring the Rallye Back to the People.“ The first stop this year already went down successfully in Monte Carlo. We are also working on an „overseas“ concept to bring our innovative stand concept to other big WRC markets like Mexico, Argentina and Australia.

Daniel Sack from the Avantgarde Cologne office.
Daniel Sack from the Avantgarde Cologne office

What is a „virtual donut“?

For the „virtual donut“ visitors will enter our greenbox and become part of a spectacular donut scene. We create a film in real-time where world champion Sébastien Ogier spins his Polo R WRC around the visitors. This greenbox keying technology has been specifically developed for our setup.

What else can I do on the stand?

An abundance of interactivity and adrenalin. No matter if a spectacular WRC ride in our 4D motion simulator, a face tracking box that adds virtual dirt and snow to your face or the deafening sound check of our Polo R WRC – if you’re into motor sports this will be your kind of thing. Best of all, you can share it instantaneously with your friends on Facebook. This year, we want to add spectacular show runs in the cities.

Can you give us an idea regarding the success so far?

Last year, almost half of the individual events’ visitors checked out the VW stand. Over 9,000 people registered and took part in the interactive rallye experiences. Through Facebook shares we reached more than 4.5 million users. 

Make sure you check out the campaign’s website RALLYTHEWORLD.com