To promote six of its key Chevrolet vehicles—Cruze, Camaro, Equinox, Malibu, Traverse and Silverado—the Washington D.C.-area Criswell Automotive group is executing a high-tech winter and spring tour which turns traditional car displays into an interactive experience for consumers. Since Nov.15, the tour has been targeting shoppers at Virginia, Maryland and D.C. malls.
“You see cars sitting inside malls all the time, but there’s rarely ever an interaction,” Harry Criswell, president of Criswell Automotive, told Buzz. “When you’re introducing new products like Chevrolet is doing right now, you have to be able to have an asset that can explain the differences between your product and other products, and make it fun. This is about changing consumers’ perception over a period of time.”
At each location, brand ambassadors swipe consumers’ licenses in exchange for a card with an augmented reality marker on it. Visitors take their card over to a computer and a 62-inch screen where a camera reads the marker on the card and one of the Chevy vehicles being promoted appears in 3D. Consumers can toy with it, move it, flip and rotate the vehicle as if they were spinning a prize wheel. They walk away with branded merchandise, like a t-shirt or hat. At a separate touch screen display, consumers can build their own virtual car by picking colors, wheels and rims, made all the more fun with the addition of sound effects like an air gun going off. There’s also an option to post the car on Facebook and share with friends and family.
When the cutting-edge experiences are over, consumers are directed to a collection of real vehicles on the mall floor. Brand ambassadors capture consumers’ video testimonials and their data on a handheld device if they want to opt in to be contacted by a local dealer. The experience tends to stay for at least a week at each mall and every night area dealers receive consumer leads. The winter leg of the tour will wrap at the Washington D.C. Auto Show and then will pick up again this spring. Agency: RedPeg Marketing, Alexandria, VA.