More NewsVolkswagen Leans on iPhone App to Drive Gamers into Dealerships

Volkswagen Leans on iPhone App to Drive Gamers into Dealerships

Branded car racing game aims to boost awareness and leads for new GTI.

Volkswagen is using an iPhone app to create awareness and lead generation for its new GTI car. And that’s about all it is doing — for now.

The carmaker yesterday announced the free game app, dubbed “Real Racing GTI,” which also involves allowing registered players to enter a giveaway contest consisting of six limited editions of the vehicle. According to Charlie Taylor, general manager of digital marketing for Volkswagen of America, the marketing effort behind the car launch will essentially lean on the app, while being supported by PR efforts, some paid search, and in-dealership print materials that have call-to-action for the video game app and the giveaway.

Taylor said that the app-based launch made sense while targeting a key VW demographic of younger, tech-savvy adults. “With the personalization of media and the challenges inherent with reaching constantly connected consumers, we challenged ourselves to rethink the way we launch vehicles in order to engage our consumers in a meaningful way,” he said.

The video game is a spinoff of the gaming studio Firemint’s “Real Racing” brand, which normally costs $6.99 to download at Apple’s app store. VW’s version of the game includes the GTI in action being driven by the player. It also lets players post times and game scores to Twitter and Facebook, as well seed videos of their races at YouTube. An online leader board is another social feature associated with the game app.

To accent the giveaway contest, the app allows users to see pictures of the special edition car. Its sole lead-generation mechanism involves a VW showroom locator. The carmaker had previously released similar games to market its Polo and Scirocco R cars in Europe, but those efforts were accompanied by traditional media.

Analyst Greg Sterling, of Sterling Marketing Intelligence, suggested the standalone nature of the app campaign will allow VW to test and measure the channel’s effectiveness in a clearer way than if the mix also incorporated TV, radio, and print and ads immediately at launch.

“What’s interesting about this is they are testing [the app] out as an awareness tool and a lead generator,” he said. “It gives the opportunity to see how much buzz and value they can get out of it at a [fraction] of the cost of a TV commercial… And it’s essentially product placement. It puts the car in the context of a racy and sporty performance environment.”

Related Articles

How to measure a multi-channel marketing strategy

Digital Marketing How to measure a multi-channel marketing strategy

3m Tereza Litsa
The future of retail: How IoT is transforming the retail industry

Digital Transformation The future of retail: How IoT is transforming the retail industry

4m Diana Maltseva
GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

Data & Analytics GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

11m Clark Boyd
What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

Legal & Regulatory What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

2y Al Roberts
Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

Media Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

2y Al Roberts
Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

Ecommerce Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

2y Al Roberts
YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

More News YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

2y Al Roberts
YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

Ad Industry Metrics YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

2y Al Roberts