From Fashion Week to Fashion Island, New York City to Newport Beach, automotive event marketing has been in high gear. Throughout 2017, the auto brands took to music festivals, film fests and fashion shows, plied the city streets, followed country roads and headed down wilderness trails to connect with car buyers. Along the way, they fired up VR and brain wave technology, built immersive brand houses, forged creative partnerships and even deployed good ol’ ride and drives for those incomparable behind-the-wheel experiences. As they rev up for 2018, we’d like to take you on a spin through the best of the year’s auto activations, and we’re betting there’s even more excitement down the road.
ACURA MOOD ROADS
Attendees experienced a customized journey as landscape, color, music and speed all changed based on their mood.
First stop, Acura Mood Roads, which kicked off the year at Sundance by leveraging VR and brain wave technology in a personalized NSX supercar engagement that resonated with the film festival’s independent-minded attendees.
Participants entered a spherical motion simulator equipped with a performance driver’s seat and 30 biometric sensors that measured 24 integration points, such as their brainwaves, heartbeat and facial expressions. Once buckled in, they experienced a customized journey in real time as landscape, color, music and speed all changed based on their mood as interpreted by the sensors. As a result, no two driving experiences were exactly the same. “Instead of us controlling the experience, the user actually controlled the experience from a sound, feeling and visual perspective,” says Jennifer Fini, manager-new media strategy and activation at Acura.
As opposed to the traditional VR set-up, users looked directly at a high-definition immersive, almost 360-degree “Mood Roads” screen without the cumbersome goggles required in other activations. Instead, they wore headsets that measured their biometric inputs. “From a sound, feeling and visual perspective, it is a first-of-its-kind integration of these different technologies in this way,” Fini says. Indeed.
Next stop, Cadillac House, which opened last year on the ground level of the brand’s new global headquarters in New York City’s trendy SoHo neighborhood and is still going strong. “We wanted it to be the first public-facing stakes in the ground of establishing Cadillac as New York City’s hometown automaker and as an engaged corporate citizen following our move here from Detroit,” says Nathan Tan, associate director-partnership and experience at Cadillac.
Designed not as a showroom or retail environment, the 12,000 square-foot permanent space lives at the intersection of the arts, culture, fashion and culinary worlds. A gallery showcases cutting-edge contemporary art; a retail pop-up features up-and-coming designers. There’s a café hosted by local roaster JOE Coffee, and then there are, of course, the cars on display. People can attend Cadillac House After Hours, a weeknight cocktail series collaboration with hip New York City bars that offers live jazz. Other recent events have included a City Harvest dinner series, Andy Warhol’s Portrait of America and a Toilet Paper Paradise installation. As of press time, artist Daniel Arsham’s …read more