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Interactive Annual 19:

Volkswagen Street Quest

Launch Movie

“This multilayered game of hide-and-seek lets VW enthusiasts seek and share what Google Street View unwittingly hid.” —Dave Curry

“What a great use of Google Maps to create a really easy and fun engagement opportunity. I can imagine myself playing this for far too long.”
—Madison Wharton Marks

Overview: South Africans love Volkswagens; since 1951, they’ve been one of the most loved and popular cars in the country. After more than six decades, Volkswagen wanted to show people that many of these cars are still on the road. Luckily Google Street View had already gone to the trouble of photographing just about every single Volkswagen on the streets of South Africa. The hard part was going to be finding them. This month-long Facebook challenge urged fans to find as many Volkswagens as possible on South African streets using Google Street View technology in a custom-designed Street Quest gaming interface.

  • • The game was developed using Google Street View's third-party API.
  • • More than 400,000 Volkswagens were “pinned” over the course of the game.
  • • The Quest didn’t end online. The four winners of the weekly games were flown to Cape Town to compete in a final live version of Street Quest during which they had eight hours and only one tank of gas to find as many Volkswagens as possible.

Comments by Nicholas Wittenberg

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “One of the challenges we faced was combining two widely-used applications, Google Street View and Facebook, into a seamlessly integrated game. The log-in process and interface were designed and built in such a way that the two could be combined into a single gaming interface that could be tracked (we needed accurate tracking of each pin dropped so that we could maintain the integrity of the game and the success of the campaign). We built a backend CMS to follow all player activity including pins dropped, scenes claimed and photos taken so we could follow exactly where players were dropping pins and eliminate any danger of cheating.”

What was the response to the campaign? “Not only were 400,000 Volkswagens found, but the Volkswagen South Africa Facebook page more than doubled in size. The response from players and the Facebook community was overwhelming, with people commenting about how they started ‘pinning’ cars on the roads whenever they were out driving. Lots of people in the advertising and tech world were talking about Street Quest online—even Google gave it a ‘thumbs up’ with a post about it on the Google Geo Developers Blog.”


Tim Human, writer
Fred Cilliers, interface designer
Andrew Pullen, motion graphic designer
Tommy Le Roux, associate creative director
Nicholas Wittenberg, creative director
Chris Gotz, executive creative director
Umar Jakoet/Michael Theron, developers
Joanna Morton, editor
Mike Wood, video director
David Jackson, animator
Ryan Laubscher/Gemma Thompson, producers
FD Majiet, production company producer
Kamilla Nurock, post production producer
Greg Tebbutt, senior producer
Adrian Varkel, executive integrated producer
Kurt Paulse, project manager
RECORD.EDIT.CREATE, production company
Ogilvy Action/RedWorks, production service companies
Ogilvy Cape Town (Woodstock, South Africa), project design and development/ad agency
Volkswagen South Africa, client

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