Mattel Drives Booth Traffic with Hot Wheels, Twitter
Auto shows are typically hot beds for emerging technology. Many an automaker has turned to event technologies to bring the high-tech features found in its cars to life on the show floor. Which is why it’s always exciting when an automaker—even the maker of teeny-tiny cars, like Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand—finds a new way to innovate on the auto show floor. In this case, it was through a unique mix of a toy car, a Twitter feed, a full-sized classic Camaro and a vending machine. Oh, yeah, it’s just that weird. But oh so wildly effective. Read on.
Mattel Hot Wheels wanted to leverage its presence at the Canadian International Auto Show and drive excitement for the launch of its new 2013 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Special Edition. The strategy was to hand out as many of the miniature die-cast cars as possible, in as cool (and social) a way as possible. To accomplish all of that, TrojanOne designed and executed the Camaro-matic Trending Machine at CIAS, a Twitter-activated vending machine that dispensed the Hot Wheels Camaros in exchange for tweets at the hashtag #ChevyCIAS and at the @ChevroletCanada and @HotWheelsCanada social handles.
Chevy and Mattel used both communities to promote the hashtag ahead of the auto show and bring people to the GM booth once they arrived. The full-sized Camaro was on display on an orange Hot Wheels track at the booth, and was open and accessible for visitors to explore. The Camaro-matic, with an illuminated rotating Hot Wheels logo on top, was placed close to the car, The way it worked was simple and far-reaching: Users had to follow @HotWheelsCanada, and tweet a message containing the hashtag to get one of the two special edition die-casts. The brand used the Twitter API to search and track the tweets, validate them for use of the hashtag and messaging, and, thanks to geo-location software, make sure the tweeter was actually at the Auto Show–all in a few seconds. Once all the confirmations were done, the machine dispensed the product, each of which was customized to the attendee’s twitter handle, meaning each of them could only get one.
The Trending Machine debuted on media day, tapping into major automotive media outlets to pass the word before the show opened to the public. But the real magic happened when the public got in the game. By the end of the show, Mattel measured more than 1.4 million total Twitter impressions, 5,507 engagements with @HotWheelsCanada and 4,869 tweets with the hashtag #ChevyCIAS. The @HotWheelsCanada account tripled its followers on Twitter and showed accelerated growth well after the event was over. All in all, the Trending machine was a huge success for the brand and a moment to remember for Canadian Camaro fans.