Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 VW Ahead of the Curve through iPhone App Launch

The blog entry today was submitted by Greg Dosmann, our Associate Creative Director and Visual Brand CHEMist.

A high score in a video used to mean that you had the satisfaction of entering your initials next to your score. VW has decided to launch their new 2010 GTI solely through a new iPhone app and provide a chance to win a car.

The app is essentially an independent level of the racing game, Firement Real Racing, which has already received 70-million downloads since launching back in June 2009. In this version, you can choose from 6 different GTI’s to race and compete to win one of six real limited-edition black GTI MkVI cars. Real Racing GTI app challenges players to race virtual GTIs around a racetrack. The more you play, the more points you build up and each week for six weeks, the company will reward the week's top player with a real car.

This is one of the first times where a brand utilizes the iPhone as their only marketing and advertising tool for a product. The idea of developing this app off an existing, successful app, was a smart move considering how badly building an app from scratch could go. This game makes the driving experience fun and gives consumers a strong impression of the car they could drive out of the dealership. The showroom within the app features a GPS sync to find the nearest dealership and the iPhone provides options to call the dealership or map the route.

"With the personalization of media and the challenges inherent with reaching constantly connected consumers, we tasked ourselves to rethink the way we launch vehicles in order to engage our consumers in a meaningful way," Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing for Volkswagen of America, Inc., said in a statement. I think VW has made a lot of smart decisions in creating this app and an experience that will have a positive effect on consumers who are eyeing this car.

Nevertheless, it’s a great car game with the bonus of winning a real car. However, only time will tell if a free app can drive consumers to buy a $25-$30,000 car.

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