VW Polo's 'It's a confidence thing' ad campaign continues with latest execution via DDB Sydney

VW-CONFIDENCE-2.jpgCB Exclusive: Volkswagen Group Australia and DDB Sydney have just launched a new campaign in celebration of the new look Polo.

Officially launching last night with a 60sec TVC, the Polo Mojo campaign positioned the new Polo as the confident choice, with its sophisticated design, impressive fuel saving performance and above class safety; it clearly punches above its weight in the small car category. This commercial brings this notion to life to tell the story of everyday Australians being inspired by the confidence their Polo gives them.

The TVC takes a whimsical look at one of the leading scenarios in which confidence is key - approaching potential partners - and provides characters with the confidence that can only come from the most confident of drives, the Volkswagen Polo.

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Says Toby Talbot, chief creative officer, DDB Sydney: "The Polo has long stood for confidence through its advertising. Because the Polo is aimed at younger drivers, we thought we'd take the whole confidence thing to a more irreverent place. Punching above your weight is a hallowed Australian tradition, and with the aid of Tim Bullock's adept direction (no stranger to punching above his weight himself), this feels like a platform we can really build on.

Adds Ben Wilks, general manager, Marketing, Volkswagen Group Australia: "The Polo really is the complete package. It's well-built and tough but also offers excellent performance, advanced safety and driver assistance systems. It's a product truth that  drivers feel confident in a Polo, and that's the truth we have brought to life, in a way that we're sure will resonate with everyday Australians."

Additional channels include cinema, online pre-rolls, and digital display, plus sponsorships with Pandora and Ben & Jerry's Open Air Cinema and will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Agency: DDB Sydney
Chief Creative Officer: Toby Talbot
Creative Partner/Copywriter: Simon Veksner
Creative Partner/Art Director: Noah Regan
Head of Broadcast: Brenden Johnson
Agency Producer: Claire Seffrin
Managing Director: Nicole Taylor
Group Account Director: Duncan Stevens
Account Managers: Kim Friedlaender & Harry Mountier
Planner: Sam Payne

Production Company: Bullock
Director: Tim Bullock
Executive Producer: Adrian Shapiro
Line Producer: Julianne Shelton

Digital agency - Tribal DDB
Media agency - Mediacom

Volkswagen Group Australia:
General Manager, Marketing: Ben Wilks
Brand Communications Manager: Peter Stewart
Advertising Manager: Loren Elsegood
Retail and Merchandising Specialist: Julie Scarff

81 Comments

no. said:

umm.......what?

Question said:

Am I being utterly stupid? That girl at the end isn't the same one as throughout the commercial is it?

So has the fatboy borrowed the girls polo? Cos she had a blue one at the start.

It's possible I'm showing symptoms of early onset senile dementia, but I really don't get it. Quite nice to watch but I think I've missed something.

Just me?

?? said:

What happened to VW? I feel sorry for those creatives.

scampfan said:

I found it a little confusing, to be honest.

yepski said:

yep it's some confused storytelling... maybe the script needs to be posted along with the ad.

Missy Bigglesworth said:

Had to watch a few times, but still genuinely confused?

So, the first guy actually has the blue Polo the whole time. Is confident enough to ask that 7/10 (still punching above his weight) girl with the blue Polo. She declines, as he’s gross. The chick then later confidently (as she has a blue Polo) gives that 10/10 guy her number. He obliges to go on a date with her as she had the confidence?? He rocks up at her house, but the 10/10 girl comes out (housemate?) and actually goes on a date with the gross guy because he had the blue Polo = confidence?

My god this doesn't make a word of sense. What a confusing ad. I liked it, just DON’T GET IT!!! REALLY want to get it...

Jack said:

I must drive a Polo because i have the confidence to say it's rubbish, confusing ,badly cast and badly written rubbish at that.

Adland at its best said:

'Are new ideas truly scary, or is that just a reassuring story we like to tell ourselves?'

Yeah but what said:

Have watched and re-watched and am no closer to understanding wtf is going on there.

Wake up said:

Not sure what you people don't understand. You clearly have no idea about script writing and you need everything spelt out.

It's pretty obvious the guy in the beginning ended up marrying the first girl with the blue car but then they divorced and he got the blue car. So ended up getting the hot chick. Blue is obviously a winning colour.

You'll also notice that the number plates changed on the blue car. His ex wife managed to get the pates in the divorce, so he had to get new ones.

Pretty simple people.

Wtf? said:

Clients get what they deserve.

it's a said:

It's a 'too lazy to use the language effectively and precisely' thing.

Malcolm said:

Yeah and she prefers blue polo, her polo, to a white polo... or something.

pat rafter said:

why aren't they wearing polos? that would have made everything clear

the public said:

Maybe the problem is that this tvc is aimed at people in the general public who are generally somewhat less cynical, nasty and stupid than those in the advertising industry. The same industry that makes up 100% of the trolls that comment here. Get a big blue polo up ya!

@wake up said:

You just won the internet for today (or at least this page)

of course said:

. . . and the hot chick is coincidentally the sister of the second guy who the first guy's wife gave her number and he was coming around to visit her.

Don't be stupid. said:

Okay dummies, this is what's going on...

The guy distracted the girl by picking up the hat.
Then he stole her blue car.
Next, the girl is asking the good looking guy where her car's gone. He agrees to help her.
The good looking guy is coming over to pick her up because she has no car, when he notices the thief with the blue VW.

Tagline King said:

VW. Fuck sense. Buy cars.

Old CD Guy said:

Gee Simon, your columns are coherent, but WTF is this ad about? Like everybody else on this thread I must be too stupid to work it out. And the public, who have no professional interest in this...?

V Dumb said:

I liked the unicorns.

@ the public said:

Yes - it is aimed at the public. That's pretty much the point everyone is trying to make. It barely makes sense (and is not that funny).

It's not aimed at navel gazing 'oh my this is a funny script isn't it!' ad wankers who fly on planes across the ditch every week.

Just sayin'

Mr Logic said:

I have 2 blue cars and that's never happened to me.

Santa said:

jesus thats confusing...
I bet everyone at the pre-pro were all high fives claiming it was a great story. Maybe it was, but the execution is seriously flawed and makes the whole thing incomprehensible.

wtf said:

I've watched this 6 times. I drew a diagram. I still can't work it out.

Please please please said:

Film the group when you focus test this.

Is this a new genre of advertising? said:

So the real idea here is creating a fucking confusing narrative that makes no sense and gets everyone saying "WTF?" creating a conversation at home that'll last for weeks. Brilliant, this is a real game changer.

It's been done before said:

The girl with the blue Polo owns an independent bookstore called “The Shop Around the Corner.” She likes spending time logging into her AOL e-mail account. There, using the screen name 'PoloGirl', she reads an e-mail from "WPG152", the screen name of the guy with the white Polo. In her reading of the e-mail, she reveals the boundaries of the online relationship; no specifics, including no names, career or class information, or family connections.

The guy with the white Polo belongs to the White Polo family which runs White Polo Books — a chain of "mega" bookstores that are in direct competition with blue Polo girl's store (a competition made more meaningful by the fact that blue Polo girl's mother ran the store before her)

One day white Polo guy enters blue Polo girl’s store. They have a friendly conversation that reveals her fears about the White Polo Books store that's opening around the corner. He keeps quiet but at a publishing party later in the week they meet again, and blue Polo girl discovers white Polo guy’s true identity. This causes an all out media war, including a boycott of White Polo Books.

All the while, "WPG152" and "PoloGirl'" continue their courtship, to the point where "WPG152" asks "PoloGirl'" to meet. When white Polo guy discovers that it is actually blue Polo girl behind the name, he confronts her as white Polo guy (concealing his "WPG152" alter ego – and feelings). The two exchange some bitter words and blue Polo girl later returns home puzzled why WPG152 might have stood her up.

Despite all efforts, The Shop Around the Corner slowly goes under. In a somber moment blue Polo girl enters White Polo Books to discover the true nature of the store is one of friendliness and relaxation, yet without the same dedication to children's books as her independent shop.

Allowing time for their electronic relationship to convalesce, white Polo Guy visits blue Polo girl while she is sick, and for the first time makes a favorable impression. They develop a tentative friendship that blossoms over the course of a few weeks and they begin to spend more time with one another.

During this time, white Polo guy as "WPG152" mysteriously postpones meeting blue Polo girl. Finally, "WPG152" and "PoloGirl'" agree to meet for the first time since "WPG152" apparently stood her up. White Polo guy and his dog Brinkley (the topic of numerous e-mails) meet blue Polo girl at Riverside Park. She admits that she had wanted "WPG152" to be white Polo guy so badly, and the two kiss.

I’m not sure what the guy in the blue Polo is all about.

Magic Eye said:

Its just like the magic eye pictures, look at it defocused and it all make sense.

obviously? said:

Can someone from DDB please clear this up, it's starting to grind my gears.
The ugly guy went for the slightly more attractive girl, the slightly more attractive girl went for the really attractive guy, the really attractive guy went to go for the really hot chick, but she'd already gone for the ugly guy. What does this have to do with Blue-Motion Technology?

Please... said:

Don't want this to sound like another put down, but please, what is the idea? I'm trying to work it out but can't and it's winding me up. Please help!

Hi said:

Simon can you blog on the following theme. 'Does an ad have to make sense to be effective?' I'm guessing not. Although the script is a little confusing, it looks great, and says 'this is a cool hip car'. That'll do right?!

concepto said:

It's a story about hard of hearing people who aren't satisfied with their current partners.

Got it said:

Ok I watched it a few times to see if i could crack the puzzle. it seems to be the DDB written Eclipse Mints ad idea again, but worse.

Sigh... said:

Can't any of you dip-shit morons understand this ad? It's so simple.

A band of car-pooling swingers change outfits every 12 seconds and swap cars instead of keys. Polo. It's a confidence thing.

How hard is that to get?

How could anyone miss this? said:

A group of off duty mimes are trying to pick each other up.

Jimmy said:

This is terrible. Shocking direction but the idea was always bad. DDBAD

Woeful said:

Given the very experienced hands on this, my suggestion is the waters were muddied considerably by the client.

Who the hell cares about bluetooth connectivity when you're a fat guy overtly shaking pistol pete's at a chick?

rockets said:

Can someone from ddb syd explain this please? Would just like to know what is going on. Having watched it twice... more than i should have ... the guy who has the blue car gets the blue car to get the girl at the end, but is blown off by the girl in the erm.. blue car. the blue car girl tries her luck with the white polo car dude, he blows her off and tries his luck with girl going to the blue car guy who never had a blue car to start with, but must have come to that conclusion cos the girl at the beginning said no, thus is was obviously the car? Makes complete sense.

C'mon said:

Please, please,please. There must be a junior at DDB Sydney, who's overheard at least part of the script and can give us the general gist of the thing? The suspense is killing me.

Jaques Tati said:

Que?

David Lynch said:

After a car wreck on the winding Campbell Parade renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Bondi-hopeful search for clues and answers across Sydney in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Hiding my name so people don't know who I am. Why? I'm not sure. said:

Ok. If you were to put 'gross guy' in a different color Polo at the end, it'd make more sense. Polo's give you confidence whoever you are (Gross or hot).

Why they didn't give him in a different coloured Polo, I don't know as it confuses the ad...unless I'm missing something. Maybe he's been seeing the first girl he met (has borrowed her blue Polo) and has popped out on a sly date with another hottie he's snagged. However, he had confidence in the beginning, so he must have already been driving a Polo, in which case I'll go back to my initial thought. Change the copout of the Polo at the end and it'll make sense.

Dr. Advertisement said:

Wrong.

This is a trailer for Cars 3.

Help. said:

Can one of the people that made a comment like " ideas fine, bad execution" please tell us what the script means.

Planner said:

The strategy is bang on.

Confidence said:

Same idea, but execution that makes sense https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9beQh1yH5uU

still can't work it out said:

If the idea is simply that everyone with a polo is more confident how come when the dopey guy asks the first girl out she says no? Or is she saying yes?

Missy Bigglesworth said:

But... did you see the moonwalking bear?

easy said:

he murdered the girl who rejected him and she's in the boot of her blue car hes now driving. the cute girl is next

Groucho said:


@Missy Bigglesworth I did see the moonwalking bear. Then I got very hungry.
Do moonwalking bears make you hungry too?

Beetle said:

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Toby Talbot. Jokes so funny only he gets them.

Old CD Guy said:

In one of his recent Scamp columns, Simon asked the question: 'Do ads have to make sense?' Surely this is a test run for his thesis - bravely, nay boldly - funded by VW. In which case you'd have to declare this a resounding success in arguing the negative case. I see this as the beginning of a wider industry trend of ads that deliberately make no sense - leading to a lot of head-scratching, leading in turn to a sudden and unexpected surge in anti-dandruff, anti-lice shampoo sales.

Bingo! said:

@easy - I think that's the most logical explanation - I'm with you on this one.

first commenter said:

So it's not just me then.

Someone I work with reckons that the first woman has the confidence to go for the more handsome man in hte first place because she's driving a blue polo.

Thus, the fatboy gets a blue polo and has the confidence to get the bonny lassie at the end - but what then was handsome man doing their - if she was meeting blue polo she surely wouldn't have invited that wanker around.

Thing is, how dare VW make judgements on the value of women based on their looks?
It's a disgrace and philosophically belongs in the 1950's.

A huge step back.

Polo, why? said:

T finally has his claws on the train set and we get this Polo train wreck.

The man who regularly dishes out words of wisdom, loses the plot completely and pens this silly conundrum.

The real mystery, which makes far less sense than the commercial, is how this idea was considered the best DDB could do? I mean, seriously...

Where's Chris Brown when you need him?

Oh, that's right, New York.

Yawn said:

Shut up, fuckwits.
Get back to your brochures.

Jack Russell said:


It's like being drunk in an Escher house. Totally baffling.

Impressive line-up said:

Wait, you needed three ECD's to do this?

And no creatives?

Old CD guy are you serious? said:

Old CD guy, I have but one wish. To never be seated next to you at a dinner party.
.

General Public said:

I just showed this to my wife who has no interest in advertising (god bless her) and she had no idea it was for a car util the end, which is understandable, and thought the 'confidence thing' was 'what?'

She's also in the market for a small, economical second car.

Missy Bigglesworth said:

@Groucho, really want to know exactly what you mean there. They can on occasion...

Captain obvious said:

Whoever wrote this should be executed.

Whoever executed this should be written off.

Piss poor all round. You have the best client in the world and one of the best directors. No excuses.

Huh? said:

I honestly don't get it. Given how ham-fisted and over acted this is, either I'm a complete idiot or this is a piece of shit.

Carlos Furnari said:

Hmm. A lot of confusion, a lot of negativity, and a lot of anonymity on here (as usual). Like most, I admit that I also struggle to follow what is going on in this commercial? Smart, experienced people were involved in this, so no doubt it was sound on paper, it just got lost somewhere between paper and final edit. Still, it's not as confusing as the need to anonymously comment?

@Carlos Furnari said:

Yeah there is a need to be anonymous. (Nothing personal to you, man) But: You advertising people are unforgiving. You take your chips on your shoulders to the grave. You never let a person who has done wrong, no matter how small, how minute a mistake, ever forget. You people make the ones who are trying dearly, feel like utter worthless pieces of you know what, because, quote unquote, 'it happened to me.' You will secretly bad mouth folk which essentially is the same but worse cos it actually has a major effect on people's lives and futures. ((I emphasize this is not aimed at you Carlos.)) But, there is a reason why people would be Anon, it's pretty bloody obvious. I made a mistake once and over a decade later, i'm still paying for it. Guess what it was...? I said something/nothing much and my name was attached to it.

It sure is a confidence thing said:

to shoot something that no-one understands...

not easily impressed said:

wow... a blue car!

Simpsons fan said:

@not easily impressed.

Nice observation.

Huh? said:

I thought it was a nice insight.

Get a zippy little car and it makes you feel good. Makes you confident.

You're targeting young things without a stack of cash, and a polo is a darn sight better than buying a fourth-hand Hyundai Excel.

I don't know about screaming for the makers of the ad to be burnt at the stake - (maybe they should have hired a continuity person as used to happen in the old days), but I think sometimes we over think these things.

@Huh? said:

You are so part of the team that did the ad or from the agency, trying to downplay the tone of voice in your comment like your are just a happy bystander justifying the that it makes sense. It doesn't. Can't bullshit a bullshitter eh. I wanna know what the CD's involved have to say.

Move on said:

@@Huh?
Listen to yourself, you anonymous little tit.
Who do you think you are demanding a CD to respond your cowardly sniping.
It's a tv commercial for a car.
You don't like it.
Who gives a fuck?

Finally said:

After much hype I finally watched the ad.
Do I get it? Nope.
Do I give a f$#k? Nope.
DDB, do better next time.
As for everyone else, get a life and move on.
If you want to discuss something that doesn't make sense, discuss why kids are dying in Syria.

Missy Bigglesworth said:

@Finally, took a wrong turn on your way to the UN convention, ended up at Campaign Brief? I think you may need to upgrade your Lexus' GPS.

Whatdoesitallmean? said:

Came back here hoping someone had explained this ad.

Guessing we'll never know.

Dan Wieden said:

Wow, 75 comments and not one of them pointing out how badly the opening of this convoluted turkey rips off our Southern Comfort spot.

So said:

Does this mean only ugly people drive Polo?

oh, come on! said:

Someone (Toby? Simon?) please explain what the fuck this is about?

Polo Owner said:

I'm a 4 ft balding gimp with halitosis.

I dumped Miranda Kerr, because she didn't do it for me.

David Copperfield must own a Polo too...

Matejay said:

Sorry but WOW, this sure is some confusing advertising... man! Still trying to wrap my head around what actually happened and how do all these people fit in. Surreal.

Jacob said:

Makes no bloody sense.

Why is the hot guy waiting for the arrogant female at the end.

And why does the hot guy have a Polo.

Plus this ad is offensive.

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