Shopper Innovation Awards: Mazda drives a cinematic program

The "Mazda Massive Test Drive" app turned mobile phones into steering wheels, and the big screen into an interactive, first-person racing experience.

This story appears in the May 2015 issue of strategy.

Silver: Original Idea
Silver: Targeting
Silver: Tech Breakthrough

Mazda wanted to show how it differs from the competition by promising a unique driving experience, but that’s difficult to communicate given the short consideration period and the fact that most consumers avoid the dealership altogether.

So the brand and its agency JWT took advantage of the big screens in movie theatres and people’s mobile devices, creating the world’s first dual-screen cinema experience that leveraged mobile accelerometers.

The “Mazda Massive Test Drive” app turned mobile phones into steering wheels, and the big screen into an interactive, first-person racing experience designed for a crowd. The app synced the cinema screen to participating mobile devices and measured the phones’ accelerometer every 200 milliseconds for responsive feedback.

Players had to match the movements of the driver on the big screen, and their score and rank were displayed on their phones. A real-time leaderboard tracked the players, who then received an offer to sign up for a test drive via the app after the race.

In the end, there was a total of 8,809 requests for test drives, or 5% of all players. This was a 3,940% increase over a typical month. Sign-up rates for movie ticket offers and test drives were 50% for game winners, the highest achieved by any in-cinema app experience. There was a 266% increase in social conversations (10 times higher than previous initiatives), as well as 933 Facebook shares and likes. And the campaign generated more than 266,000 online impressions in November 2013.


Advertiser: Mazda
Agency: JWT
Chief creative & integration officer: Brent Choi
SVP CD: Ryan Spelliscy
Group CD/CW: Chris Page
ADs: Chris Page, Anita Wypych
Senior producer: Simon Conlin
VP, management director: Neil MacLellan
Account director: Chloé Gravelle
Client team: Michael Tsang
Production & post company: Iamstatic and Topix
Directors (Iamstatic): Ron Gervais, Dave Greene
Producer (Topix): Christina Lord
Music house: Drastic Music+Technology
Music producer: Matt Davis
CD: Drasko Vucevic
Media agency: Excelerator Media
Managing director, client leadership, Excelerator Media: Paula Carolan Di Salvo
Media partner: Cineplex / Timeplay
VP marketing (TimePlay): Aaron Silverberg
Interactive content experiences co-ordinator, marketing (Cineplex): Ross Finkelstein
Project manager integrated solutions (Cineplex): Meighan Topolnicki