We needed to make the Volkswagen Golf feel cool again, and make it stand out from the glut of other car advertising that promised a "great drive".
Through personal experience and casual conversations with friends we got thinking about how enjoyable it is to drive at night time, when the roads are quieter and you have more space to yourself. We thought that the night would offer a great environment to dramatise the driving credentials of the Golf; a setting that was rich with imagery and that we could own for Golf.
We were faced with quite a challenge when we were given this brief. Unlike some of Volkswagen's other car models the Golf didn't have a clear, distinguishing proposition. It was an all-rounder; a mainstream hatchback with good driving credentials; its selling point was quite generic. On top of this, what was once regarded as quite a cool, sporty small car was beginning to be overshadowed by newcomers such as the BMW 1-series and the Audi A3.
The campaign comprised a 90 second tv commercial in which we experience the journey of a man as he goes on a late night drive through the empty streets of LA. The visuals are accompanied by a piece of music by Cliff Martinez and an extract from "Under Milkwood" by Dylan Thomas, read by the late, great Richard Burton. Print and poster executions further explored the attraction of driving at night time, and the escape it offered from the congestion and stress of the day. There was a website in which visitors could explore all aspects of the car as it journeyed through the empty LA streets. They could even edit their own version of the film using extra unseen footage, and post their own recommended night drives on a specially tailored Google maps application. Direct Mail invited potential customers to take night time test drives for themselves – a promotion that was run in partnership with selected dealerships.