Digital properties are shaping up to demonstrate some of the most inspirational commercial work. That’s why Google has developed Creative Sandbox, a microsite housing a curated selection of work from the advertising industry for people to vote on. The archive reflects some of the most innovative branding work being executed by agencies and digital partners.
Given the immense challenges facing automotive brands today, the digital tools they employ are often diverse and driven by a marriage of rules-of-thumb and experimentation.
Read through the case studies to see how automotive brands are bolstering their brands using apps, microsites, interactive experience, and unique content strategies.
1) Lexus: ‘Creating Amazing’ Mobile App
Lexus was facing new challenges in Europe. They built a mobile site based on the insight that consumers are using new processes, fueled by digital technology, to re-assess what they’re looking for in a car. This means potential Lexus owners are looking at other brands (that are more top of mind) towards the end of the path to purchase.
To alleviate this problem, a mobile site was created that compliments the main site. This mobile destination, available in 35 European countries, funneled potential buyers deeper into the brand by enabling them to order brochures, book test drives (particularly for new cars), interface with dealerships, and view content. The end-result was more conversation, a reduced bounce rate, and a better conversion rate of shoppers to buyers.
Read more about the Lexus case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
2) Audi: Social Stunt For Facebook Fans
Brands with a strong presence on social media should never settle for being liked. Audi, which now has over 500,000 fans on Facebook, recognized this and wanted to show their love for their Facebook fans. To do this, they brought in Dindo Capello, an Italian endurance racing driver, to create a video where he drives the Audi R8 to skid the number 500,000 into the ground.
Rather than stop there, Audi also created prints using designs generated by the Audi R8 tire marks and signed by renowned race car driver. In fact, the video got so much love that Audi decided to broadcast it on TV to engage new audiences, particularly in Germany. All these efforts worked together to grow their fans by 17%.
Read more about Audi’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
3) Chevrolet: Let’s Do This Campaign For Sonic
What does it take for a video to reach 120 million Youtube views?
This campaign helped to shift the perception of Chevy as the maker of gas guzzler trucks to an automotive company with great gas mileage and top safety ratings. To do this monumental task, Chevy brought in rockstars, extreme sports athletes and robotics experts to perform stunts. Videos of their stunts were leveraged as content for a microsite, Superbowl TV spot, and a Youtube brand channel (which housed videos that reached the top spot of ‘Most Viewed Video’). Check out the case study below to see what contributed to the spike of Youtube views.
Read more about Chevy’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
4) Chevrolet: Chevy Game Time
Game Time is an occasion-specific app that Chevrolet created to compliment the Superbowl viewing experience.
The app has the very aggressive goal of distracting Superbowl viewers from Chevrolet’s competitors’ ads with trivia based on Chevy’s Superbowl commercials (mentioned in the previous case study). The app provided a time sensitive experience for mobile users. The app enabled users to replay the commercials and those who answered correctly had the chance to win a Chevy Sonic.
By the end of the game, the app topped out at 130,000 simultaneous users and 700,000 app downloads within two weeks, surpassing Angry Birds and Facebook in Apple’s iTunes Store at one point. CNBC also gave the app the top spot for the online buzz it generated.
Read more about Chevrolet’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
5) BMW: ‘Face City’ Interactive Experience
For this campaign, BMW motivated users to connect through Facebook, upload a picture, and delve into a personalized, shareable experience. The basic idea is for the user to create a portrait made of buildings of a city they’ve chosen; a car from the BMW 1 Series is then shown as it drives through the mock city.
A noteworthy creative feature is that users get to name and tag various landmarks of the city after their friends, creating a snowball effect once the content is uploaded to Facebook. Another interesting point is that the background music is generated through the preferences detected in the user’s profile. Within the first month, the microsite saw 300,000 visitors and generated 390 Face City experiences.
Read more about BMW’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
6) Toyota: Meet the Prius on Youtube
How can automotive companies appeal to American millenials? For this consumer segment, the decision to buy a car is not only complicated, but intimidating and full of myths. Atop the mix of advice and recommendations they receive from their network, they also browse through digital properties and resources for research. Creating an entertaining Youtube brand channel, they combined digital production and video content to make the online research process more interactive and productive.
In preparing to launch the Prius car, Toyota developed these videos acknowledging the challenges facing this demographic. The content is all themed around The Game of Life, the vibrant board-game part of many millenials’ childhood. The tips provided spanned everything from negotiation at the dealership and filling out forms to the importance of hybrid engines and the role of in-car bluetooth technology.
Read more about Toyota’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
7) Chrysler: Launching the Fiat 500 Abarth
Following up on a raunchy Superbowl ad, Fiat developed a digital campaign aimed at convincing gear-heads of their new product’s performance capabilities. The goal was to infuse the digital campaign with the thrill and adrenaline behind the Fiat’s quality. This meant bolstering the beautiful imagery with hard facts and specs.
Requests hit the dealerships at rapid speed. The Fiat 500 sold out before the cars arrived in the US. Not only did the campaign generate 35,000 signups for purchase information, but sales were extraordinariy high; March 2012 sales were up over 600%.
Read more about Chrysler’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
8) Volkswagen: ‘Rock ‘n’ Scroll’ Mobile App
This is one of the more experimental digital initiatives in The Creative Sandbox. The execution pulls together HTML5, websockets, geolocation, and Twitter to weave pieces of the Beetle story into a single canvas that can be scrolled through. Rather than creating any official video content, the interface’s simplicity and power compelled tech and social media bloggers to upload video of the experience. This is a superb example of how uniquely differentiated a website experience has to be from its mobile counterpart.
Read more about Volkswagen’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
9) Volkswagen: The Innovation Channel on Youtube
Brazil has a notable interest in innovation. To raise their awareness of the technology supporting Volkswagen vehicles, they decided to create a microsite within Youtube. Going beyond video, the campaign leveraged rich media techniques (developed by Youtube and BBDO) to create disruptive moments to surprise viewers and hold their attention.
Each clip was an opportunity to engage with Brazilian actor Lázaro Ramos and deepen their knowledge of VW’s technologies like Emergency City Break, Park Assist, iMotion. As a result, traffic to VW’s Facebook Page boosted by over %1400 and this led them to hold the most amount of Facebook fans. The Innovation Channel itself attracted more visitors in the first month than most of their competitor in the Brazilian market.
Read more about Volkswagen’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.
10) BFGoodrich Tires: The Awesomecross Experience
While not an automotive brand, BFGoodrich’s work is award-winning stuff with a compelling storyline.
Awesomecross is an interactive drag race experience: the course responded to performance data generated by the g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires and moods/thoughts detected by cameras and an EEG equipped helmet on the drivers.
Towards the end of the video viewers can select a ‘Featured Driver’ to follow. Tagging the end of videos this way prolongs the experience and enables viewers to get in-depth with the Awesomecross Experience by accessing hidden content that is specific to the racers.
Read more about BFGoodrich’s case study in Google’s Creative Sandbox.