Toyota’s Scion line is looking to build buzz among the young-driver set for its new tC Coupe with a cross-platform campaign that includes a highly engaging augmented reality online driving game.
Visitors who go online are instructed to print out an AR marker in the shape of a steering wheel. They can then face the marker to their Webcam, activate the game from the site, select their vehicle—a silver tC to start with—and begin racing through the streets of a digital city, avoiding sudden obstacles and other drivers.
The AR platform recognizes positional changes in the steering-wheel marker and controls the player’s car accordingly. Players without Webcams or who can’t download Flash 10, required for AR play, can navigate their cars with keyboard controls.
Time results can be shared to players’ Facebook pages with a button push. The game also features a leaderboard that shows the global 100 overall time winners. As players improve their scores, they can unlock other colors of tC Coupes to use in the game.
The game setting, designed by North Kingdom for Scion’s agency of record ATTIK, is a dystopian, rather grim mechanical world that will resonate with Scion’s target demographic of young males, many of whom are already inveterate game players. The TakeOnTheMachine.com Web site was built by …and company and also offers product specs, video, a car customization feature, and functionalities to find a dealer or sign up for e-mail alerts from Scion.
“Take on the Machine” launched on August 27 with print ads in target publications such as Inked, Giant Robot, Modified and several other game- and car-enthusiast magazines. Those print ads included a removable AR marker. The game and Web site had been teased for several weeks prior to rollout with a campaign that included search marketing combined with invitations to search for the term “the machine’ on most popular search engines. ATTIK also used spot TV, out of home and online ads to tease the campaign.
“In this campaign, the city represents ‘the machine,’ and it signifies the obstacles our young male audience members face in their daily lives, while the 2011 tC is the answer for taking on the machine and winning,” ATTIK co-founder and executive creative director Simon Needham said in a release.
Since its release, the “Take on the Machine’ game has received more than 8,000 plays, according to reports.
Recently Scion took the tC model introduction to a second level with ad placements on NFL TV “Monday Night Football” broadcasts on ESPN, a first placement for the company. The creative for the ads uses the same ominous Orwellian metropolis as the Web game background. Ads are also running on male-oriented channels such as Adult Swim, comedy Central, MTV and Spike.
Scion and ATTIK added another platform to the campaign with an in-theater ad for the tC placed before showings of “Resident Evil: Afterlife”, a movie built from a well-known gaming franchise. Like the movie, the Scion cinema ad was shown in 3D. And even the lobby ads for the new model were lenticular, giving a 3D impression. The new model also appears on billboards in 24 cities across the U.S.
“At Scion, we feel that the aggressive features of this next-generation tC are very exciting, and we know that a lot of young owners will be equally impressed, Scion vice president Jack Hollis said in a release. “We feel the celebrity treatment is very well deserved.”
The 2011 Scion tC is expected to start appearing in dealership in October. At that time, the company and ATTIK plan to activate a road show using three trailer trucks fitted out with game kiosks. Scion will also offer “ride and drive” opportunities in partnership with local businesses that draw its target demographic.