Nick Mills
PoloTag Header.jpg

Volkswagen – #PoloTag


There’s a new Polo. From the outside not much had changed. But on the inside, it was like a new car. We needed test drives to get people inside the car. But test drives are boring, and even more so, inconvenient.


We invented a mobile based twitter game that everyone wanted to play: PoloTag.

For 6 days, in 3 major cities, South Africans could spot the new Polo around specified routes, tag it on twitter, and drive it, right there and then. The person who drove it for the longest, without being tagged, won the new Polo


Throughout the campaign, both mobile and desktop needed to work hard at keeping potential PoloTag players engaged. On the days of the activations, the mobile site was used more frequently, as this is how players were able to find the Polo with our custom Google Map, and just by tweeting through our site, or through Twitter, they were able to take part.


Our campaign needed a look and feel to match the new confident Polo. It also needed to work seamlessly on both mobile and desktop. So we came up with a simple but striking illustrative style that used minimalist graphics with functional typography. By using functional design for our navigation menus, we could incorporate this playful design within the website and our custom built Google Map. We started by carefully selecting and then illustrating 33 easily recognisable landmarks that were part of the various predetermined routes.  This unique illustrative style informed all the advertising and collateral for the campaign: posters, street pole ads, online banners, vehicle decals, minimalist icons and even the how-to videos.

The Tech

We used a variety of web technologies, including HTML and CSS3, with parallax at the heart of the site. This enabled us to simulate the PoloTag game. As users scrolled, the new Polo drove through the streets of South Africa past the various landmarks, and finally when they scrolled to the end of the page, the next section loaded.  The parallax was created with jquery, and to keep loading times down, we created different images layers that loaded separately. Images were also lazy loaded, this meant that users only loaded the images when they were on that specific part of the site.

We also used Google Maps API to draw the predetermined PoloTag routes, and during the game, the map placed location-based markers pulled from twitter. These revealed the location of the new Polo in real time. We used server cache to save the tweets, and then cleared them after two minutes to load all the new tweets- keeping the location of the new Polo as accurate as possible. Using twitter API, players were also able to tweet directly from the site, this ensured that the user experience within the mobile site was seamless and intuitive.

Activation content

We launched with our desktop and mobile site. A hub for all things to do with PoloTag. Here PoloTaggers could find out how to play, follow the car in real time with our custom built Google Map, see the leaderboard, discover how to get to landmarks, and find out more about the new Polo.