To push its 2014 Q50 luxury sports sedan, Hong Kong-based Infiniti Motor Company has released an interactive film, Deja View, which turns both the vehicle and the viewer into characters that impact the outcome of the story.
Infiniti calls the experience a "ground-breaking responsive film that dynamically adapts to each viewer, depending on their spoken interactions with the onscreen characters."
In order to participate, users call an 877-number on the website and enter a sync code they receive over the phone.
The video starts out with a barren landscape with windmills and a man and woman in a Q50 trying to figure out who and where they are. Eventually, the viewer's phone number appears on the man's phone as a repeated missed call and he makes his first contact with the viewer. Four calls follow as the video progresses.
All the while, the video pulls in features from the Q50 model, like Infiniti InTouch, which the brand says "brings the future of in-car connectivity to the Q50 interior today," as well as a seat that remembers how the driver likes it positioned.
Deja View plays out in three chapters. After each chapter, the viewer is given the ability to share on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The entire experience takes about 15 minutes.
According to Infiniti, Deja View combines cinematic narrative with new technologies like the latest natural language processing systems.
Erika Santos, senior planner at Infiniti USA Marketing Communications, says Deja View includes 150 different video clips with "literally thousands of different ways" for the story to turn out. That includes scenarios such as deciding between going to a gas station or a diner.
In addition, Santos says that if a user says something the character Ellen doesn't appreciate, like calling her sexy, she "will talk back to you and get very angry."
However, Santos notes, "If you apologize, she's very sweet and tells you she understands."
According to Santos, the campaign focuses on a "type of luxury that we believe embodies liberation," and is a continuation of the brand's Factory of Life TV spot, which has been viewed 530,000 times as of November 7.
Deja View, however, "[extends this] in a way that's more than a 30- or 60-second spot," she adds.
Santos would not disclose how many consumers have tried out the experience since it launched October 22.
However, the trailer has about 8,700 views on YouTube as of November 7 and a Facebook post about the experience has 410 likes.
Infiniti has 1.1 million likes and 75,000 followers.
"We are seeing a lot of engagement come through social media. People go to experience, see it and invite [friends] to share," Santos says.
The film was produced in partnership with branded content company Campfire, which was co-founded by The Blair Witch Project creators Mike Monello and Gregg Hale, which perhaps explains the video's slightly eerie feel.
The experience is scheduled through the end of the year as it has "costs associated with it," but, Santos notes, "we have the option of being flexible."
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014