AToMiC Awards: Car brands tune up test drives

Audi and Volkswagen offer virtual driving experiences to drive consumers to their showrooms.

To get consumers into the showroom, Audi and Volkswagen whet test- drive appetites by offering a virtual driving experience.

Audi Canada and Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo turned the traditional test drive on its head to promote the A4 in September, setting up a slot-car racetrack in Toronto’s financial district. Passersby could grab an iPad and take motorized A4s for a spin on a mini track. The “Audi Quattro Experience” ran for two weeks, attracting 4,000 participants, producing 2,142 unique visits to a microsite and garnering 118,000 YouTube channel views.

“If you can provide a unique experience for a customer, it increases your chances of them walking into one of your showrooms,” says Jennifer Dobbs, brand marketing manager, Audi Canada.

In September 2011, Volkswagen also wanted to give customers a sense of what its 2012 re-designed Beetle could do before it was even available for purchase.

“The Beetle Juiced Up” campaign used augmented reality to allow people to use smartphones to enhance billboard ads. The Beetle posters, with creative by Toronto-based Red Urban, encouraged users to download the AR app, then point it at the billboard to view the Beetle in stunt-like action.

Within the first month of the car coming to market, 83% of Volkswagen’s total inventory was sold. The launch triggered more than three million visits to and earned the company more than 148 million online impressions, the highest number in the history of Volkswagen Canada.

The Hardware

Best Experiential Engagement: Silver – Audi “Audi Quattro Experience” / Zulu Alpha Kilo
Best Digital Engagement: Bronze – Volkswagen “The Beetle Juiced Up” / Red Urban