Scion takes racing game into AR realm

The Toyota brand's auto show-based promotion invites fans to virtually get inside a 2011 Scion tC.

In a digital first for Toyota Canada, the company is using augmented reality (AR) to engage fans with its quirky Scion brand.

The Augmented Reality tC Racing Game, promoting the 2011 Scion tC Urban Sports Coupe, launched this weekend at the Montreal International Auto Show. Created for a spate of automotive shows that take place across the county from January until April, the Augmented Reality tC Racing Game is a booth and online game in which users can virtually ‘take the wheel’ of a Scion and put it through its paces. The game was created by Scion’s global AOR Attik’s San Francisco office.

‘We believe that this promotion is the most interactive initiative ever undertaken by TCI at an auto show,’ says Larry Hutchinson, director, Scion Canada.

The Scion booths at the automotive shows are equipped with integrated web cams and visitors are provided with a steering wheel-shaped postcard with an AR glyph on it. Once activated, users can then use the postcard to control a virtual Scion tC through a futuristic urban environment. As users’ scores improve, they upgrade to faster and more customized virtual tCs.

Users must register to play the game, and in doing so, are entered for a chance to win a 2011 tC. The game can also be accessed by anyone from home via microsite, and social media functionality has been integrated into the game to promote sharing.

Toyota Canada is promoting the Augmented Reality tC Racing Game via brand ambassadors at ‘various lifestyle events’ across the country, Hutchinson says, and it will also be promoting it inside the Scion’s 45 Canadian dealerships.

The contest ends April 25, 2011.