How Volkswagen drove new car sales using Bionic-optimised Facebook lead ads

6038 vw.png


Volkswagen, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, have long been the pioneer in their industry in leveraging digital media to connect with their customers. The Volkswagen Group has been producing and selling vehicles in South Africa for more than 70 years and the company makes a vehicle for every stage of adult life in the market.

With the traditional barriers between online and offline continuing to break down, Volkswagen decided to develop a solution to allow them to leverage digital media to drive real-world enquiries, dealership visits and vehicle sales. PHD South Africa, Volkswagen’s agency of record in the region turned to award winning Bionic to leverage our deep experience in omnichannel commerce.



Formats and Channel: Bionic proposed the use of “Lead Ads” on both Facebook and Instagram. We have extensive experience in delivering exceptional results for clients with lead ads in general and in particular when they are used in combination to process the lead to a human at the end of the process.

Audiences: We used custom audiences built from Facebook pixel to re-target people who had previously purchased from VW or who had visited the website and Facebook page. From these audiences we built lookalike audiences which were equally effective and finally we used interest-based targeting to acquire new customers.

Targeting: Each campaign compiled of at least 4 different ad sets each with their own targeting. These ad sets would then include different ads which utilised different creatives and call to actions. After the learning phase we would decide which ads were performing best and keep these adverts on.

Bionic Optimisation: Bionic Auto Bid, Auto Management and Auto Budget Reallocation features were particularly effective in ensuring that the campaigns were successful. Auto bid ensured that the campaigns would be as cost effective as possible, auto management style managed how aggressively or moderately the ads would bid and Auto Budget Reallocation moved budget from the worst performing ad sets to the best performing ad sets.


Every campaign leveraged unique Facebook lead forms and when a lead form was submitted by a consumer, it was retrieved from Facebook in real time by Bionic’s DataConnect services. This service converted the lead into a standardised Dealer Management System (DMS) format and uploaded to client side storage via FTP.


The campaign exceeded all expectations and rapidly became one of the most commercially successful marketing activities undertaken by Volkswagen South Africa. Highlight results include;

  • 6,038 leads generated.

  • R790,978 spent in total.

  • R131 cost per lead.

  • 138 physical sales.

  • R5,731.73 cost per sale.

Facebook lead ads delivered great lead results, in a cost-effective manner. What started out as a test with the Bionic team has evolved into lead ads being included on most campaign plans
— Bradley Hall, Head of Digital, PHD ZA

 Get started today!

Easy setup. Fixed monthly prices. Cancel anytime.