Rally the World

First global transmedia storytelling campaign in motorsport – launched to accompany Volkswagen's comeback in the World Rally Championship

The world's most famous brand of automobile returns to rally sport after an absence of 26 years. Volkswagen goes FIA World Rally Championship, or WRC for short. This is even honored with a new VW model: the Polo R WRC. But the question was: How to turn a motorsport event to the advantage of Volkswagen's marketing activities? Or more specifically: How to quickly win over a fan base for the car manufacturer? And then keep the fans interested? What does this new commitment to rally sport add to the Volkswagen brand?

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Aperto replied with an impressive campaign: a truly unique entertainment package that depicts the sport as it really is. Hard, demanding, uncompromising, unpredictable, and fascinating. Right down to the very last mud splattered rivet. Live and up close, at each race, in every country. By way of a global storytelling campaign using every communication channel available, according to the motto "Bring the Rally back to the People" that caused a sensation around the world.


  • Digital Integrated campaign
  • Transmedia Storytelling
  • Mobile Gaming
  • App Development
  • Community Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Monitoring
  • TVC
  • Print Ads
  • Webisodes

Technical Platform

  • Liferay

Bring the Rally back to the People

The task: seeing and experiencing the rally from Volkswagen's perspective. Not only for the fans on the sidelines, but for everyone. What's particularly difficult: the World Rally Championship runs over the course of 12 months and all over the world. Even if you begin by exciting the fans, how do you maintain their interest for such a long time? Our strategy: transmedia storytelling, compelling and involved from the very start.

Excitement we share

With the (fake) search for the world's best helmet holder Volkswagen launches an introductory campaign that is shown in social media, print ads, a TV commercial and on motorsport and job portals. MTV legend, Ray Cokes, hosts some webisodes that are a lot of fun, and even the Hollywood actor, Ralf Möller, plays a cameo role. A specially developed game app ensures that the fans can take their personal challenge with them on their smartphones. Accompanying each rally are hot-off-the-press magazine articles, exciting photo stories, entertaining webisodes and videos showing drivers and fans.

Live tickers, real-time results and fans' photos were produced at motorsport speed for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. Before, during and after each rally – 24/7. The fans' commitment is richly rewarded: each click, view, like or share earns more "social fuel". A fuel gauge on rallytheworld.com shows the level of the virtual fuel. The fuller the tank is, the more benefits are available online.

Volkswagen is world champion – twice over

Like a co-pilot we give Volkswagen all the right services: strategic advice, campaign expertise, creation, user experience design, mobile gaming, online marketing, social media, print, out of home, monitoring, branded content and even software development. The whole package comes to a spectacular climax at the end of 2013 when the Volkswagen pilots Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen win the championship.

A victory that is naturally celebrated by both the on- and offline communities. For the first time in the company's history, the VW logo on the factory wall in Wolfsburg is integrated in the marketing activities as an oversized winner's medal. Volkswagen returns as the champion in the next FIA WRC 2013 – only to win again. The rally comeback has produced a winning team, whose heroic acts we continue to narrate in 2014.

Under the hood

A transmedia and interactive campaign such as Rally the World demands a tough technical system and no end of experience if continuous usability and best performance are to be guaranteed for users. This is why we choose Liferay for the digital hub. Our system engineers and mobile experts work hand-in-hand to ensure the apps run trouble-free on all devices. This means we can rely on the hub to perform even under the burden of numerous hits during live races. 

Modules at a glance

Digital Hub

The central platform – the digital hub at rallytheworld.com – provides the global fan base with access to the circuits, challenges, and team pilots. A social media buzz, mobile gaming, live events and competitions ensure the fans get a piece of the action – and keep coming back for more for over twelve months.

These fan events are equally spectacular as the championship itself: whether the search for a helmet holder, voting for the perfect fan food, or being one of the 4,000 faces on the Fan Car as a photo stuck to the Polo R WRC. 

Seamless Service Experience

The thrilling rally design naturally works wherever the fans need it: responsive design makes the appearance ideal on all devices, whether a desktop PC, tablet or smartphone. All the content is optimized for use on the go.

Mobile Gaming

The platform-independent strategy racing game even reaches those who really only want to play – but then are suddenly bitten by the rally bug. Players sit in the co-pilot's seat of the Polo R WRC and can generate social fuel, giving access to a higher level or new skills.

Out of Home & Event

Alongside the online platforms, outdoor presence is also essential. We therefore produce various megaposters for Rally The World – some of which also feature installations, develop award-winning airport advertising and redesign the logo at the Volkswagen factory.

At the rally circuits themselves there are illuminated displays and promotional activities, which draw people back to the online platforms by way of competitions and incentives.

Awards and Press


Gold & Silver, 2017


Silver, 2016


Winner, 2016


Mobile of the Day, 2016

Annual Multimedia

Silver, 2014

ADC Nagel

Bronze, 2013


Award of the month, October 2013


Best Game Site Mobile Application, 2013


Nominierung für "Best of Mobile Awards", 2013

In the Press: Horizont

Greenkern celebrates Volkswagen's world championship

See the press release

In the Press: W&V

Volkswagen celebrates championship with "Story of Glory"

See the press release

Wow. VW just moved Rally forward by 40 years! Awesome. Welcome to the 21st century. Really excited by their marketing efforts.

Rally fan, James Graham

enthuses via Twitter

What can we do for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

We are driven by projects that both inspire and challenge us. So if you’re looking for an agency to collaborate and grow with, you’ve found the right partner. Focusing on three primary areas – strategy, creation and technology – to deliver a holistic solution, we provide the Right-Service For The Digital Age.


Florian Mlodzik, Executive Director
Aperto – An IBM Company
Chausseestr. 5
10115 Berlin
+ 49 30 283921-0
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