Shopper Innovation Awards: Chevrolet hits the road with a coaster

To showcase its cars, the brand created a game that used actual vehicles with modified pneumatic shocks to activate at the CNE and PNE.

Road Coaster_ 1This story appears in the May 2015 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Tech Breakthrough

Chevrolet wanted to promote itself as a youthful and contemporary brand, and attract a new generation of interested buyers. So it partnered with the Canadian National Exhibition and Pacific National Exhibition to create a cutting-edge activation at the events.

The “Road Coaster” was a game that used an actual, real-life 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS and a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo with modified pneumatic shocks. The vehicles lifted, tilted and shook as the participants drove using the steering wheel and pedals, each in front of a 80-inch LED screen on a virtual roller coaster track.

When attendees signed up to play the game, they received a “driver’s licence,” which had its own unique QR code. Participants showed their code to the camera located inside each vehicle, which then retrieved the name and photo of the driver for a welcome greeting. The track had multiple twists, loops and jumps that drivers had to race through. The coaster’s goal was to showcase the capabilities and functionality of the brand’s cars.

After each race, drivers were emailed their photo and results, and then invited to share their experience on social media. Chevrolet also promoted the game via the CNE and PNE websites, as well as the Chevrolet Canada website and its social media channels.

Approximately 44,500 people interacted with Chevrolet staff and vehicles, and 9,490 drivers and 7,380 passengers experienced the “Road Coaster.” The experience created a “no pressure, no sales pitch” environment that gave each player the opportunity to sit in a vehicle and experience what it would be like to drive one.


Advertiser: Chevrolet Canada
Agency: MacLaren McCann
CD: Josh Haupert
Senior designer: Ann Solecki
Designer: Slava Toth
Account directors: Norbert Kliszczewski, Bianca Knop
Account supervisor: Gary Gunn
Account executive: Sidharth Gupta
Game and simulation design partner: Timecode Lab
AV partner: MVI
Exhibit build: The Exhibit Store