Cannes Lions

Touareg Sabbatical


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The Touareg is Volkswagen's most luxurious vehicle, but it was in the most lavish and extravagant category, competing against brands that have a long legacy in luxury vehicles.

Our Brief was to connect to this time-poor, affluent audience of CEOs and entrepreneurs in a Volkswagen way, by identifying the human truth that would make this target market see the Touareg as an expression of their journey and not just a mode of transport,

Our goal was to break through this category and redefine what luxury is in today's world. We needed to increase sales, brand image, engagement and awareness.


To launch the new VW Touareg we offered the one luxury our affluent target market values more than anything - Time. Introducing the Touareg Sabbatical. A 3-month, fully paid Sabbatical dedicated to making a difference.

We invited people to submit their world changing idea. 1000s answered. 1 stood out. Dr Nyamuda and an app that provides healthcare information to children across the country. We then went on a journey across South Africa to bring this idea to life, sharing it for all to see on social, while demonstrating what can be achieved with a Touareg and the luxury of time.


We were targeting a very niche, hard-to-reach audience of affluent individuals (CEOs, Entrepreneurs, High profile execs) who have sacrificed a lot of time to get to where they are today. Their time is precious, so we needed to not only create content that spoke to them, but we needed to do it from a place that they already respect and engage with.

Using data we analysed our audience's top platforms and publications. We then partnered with Africa's leading business publication, Business Insider, to launch the campaign. The site became the main distribution point for our content.

We interviewed key opinion leaders and asked them all one question - If you had the luxury of time, what would you do? This set the wheels in motion.

We leveraged each opinion leader's community and tapped into a variety of audiences who all had one thing in common - lack of time.


We created a series of Call-To-Action posts that invited consumers to apply for the Touareg Sabbatical. Consumers then submitted a written proposal of their idea and how they would use the time and accompanying kickstarted fund. Thousands entered, but one stood out. An app that looked to give kids across South Africa equal access to healthcare information, previously reserved for those who could afford it.

Equipped with the Touareg, kick-starter fund, and time, we set off on a 3 month journey across South Africa with Dr Nyamuda, exploring the various regions and identifying the many challenges the app needed to overcome in order to make a real difference. While this was going on, developers were taking in the new information and updating the app.

We documented and shared the journey through social, and news of the Sabbatical began spread with Rufaro appearing on national radio stations and talks (TEDX).


The campaign exceeded all expectations, from Volkswagen's sales and brand image, to Dr Nyamuda's app.

- Exceeded KPIs by 117%, more than doubling sales targets.

- Over 50 Millions targeted impressions

- In a declining market, Volkswagen Touareg achieved a 2.3% increase in market share, and was the only brand in the premium SUV category to experience an increase in brand image.

- A time-poor audience spent 19872 hours engaging with the campaign.

- R2 Million raised for the app.

- KeepSafe Schools App was endorsed by both the Department of Health and the Department of Education

- Pilot programme launched across 23 schools

By demonstrating what one person could achieve with a Touareg and the luxury of time, we connected with this audience and made the Touareg represent something far more valuable to them. It made them feel that this car was truly made for them and their lives.

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