IAA Walk of Innovations – 2013

The 65th Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) has been running in Frankfurt am Main for the past two weeks. So on Saturday I decided to go for the motor show to catch up on the latest cars and also see first hand the much anticipated Nissan Nismo Watch.

Most of the car makers in this year’s show were also present in IAA 2011. In fact they were even located in the same stands as 2011, with the same high tech touch displays to promote their cars. The only difference was that their 2013 car models were now more hybrid and or electric only e.g. this new four seater Smart…

But while I walked around and looked for changes vis-Γ -vis what was shown in IAA 2011, I noticed that apart from the now expected large screens and touch displays, car makers were using all kinds of social media to engage with their visitors.

Here is a quick photo report of my engagement experiences with the various car makers…

Audi

To make sure I did not miss Audi this year due to 200+ people standing in line to get into the Audi Stand, I decided to visit the stand very early in morning. The line to get into the stand was short, but there were already hundreds of people inside. On walking in, I noticed that the concept for the stand was taken straight out of the Hollywood movie “Upside Down“…

Visitor engagement at the stand was done through a special photo booth. While people waited in the line they got an iPad to play a game and answer three questions about Audi. Winners got special custom giveaways like keychains, gummy bears etc. After which visitors were assured into the photo booth which superimposed the photos onto custom Audi backgrounds. Visitors could take home a printed copy of the photos and later also download soft copies from www.audiphotoautomat.com.

Mercedes

Next stop was the Mercedes stand which was also impossible to get into in 2011. From the below picture you can see why…

Mercedes put up a huge multi-sensory show that went on for over 20 minute, while thousands of people just stopped and watched. Children visiting the stand were kept busy with car simulators…

Outside the stand one could test drive the Mercedes off road jeeps with the help of trained drivers…

Hyundai

Hyundai was the first car brand I came across that was using the event to generate Facebook fans. For liking the Hyundai Facebook page, fans at IAA could win a Hyundai i30…

The rear windscreen of the i30 was converted into a touchscreen which people could use to instantly “Like” the brand’s Facebook page or choose to receive the Fan Page link via email…

At the stand Hyundai also displayed a unique touchable music seat for hearing impaired drivers which vibrated as per the music being played. This is still in concept phase and the test seats are currently being developed out of Korea…

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen “Think Blue” initiative was presented via an interactive augmented reality layer that was activated through the provided iPads…

Skoda

Skoda explained their Green Line initiative via a wooden toy car that was supported by the animations in the embedded touch screens…

At the neighbouring table kids were engaged with games around the Green Line initiative…

Michelin

At the Michelin stand, visitor could take pictures with a virtual Michelin mascot and have the pictures emailed to themselves instantly…

Nissan

After having written about the Nissan Nismo Watch last week, I could not wait to see the real watch in action. But to my disappointment the watch was not there as announced. There was only a boring plastic dummy on display…

But I did take Nissans version of real life “Likes” for a spin (first spotted at the Renault stand in the 2011 Amsterdam Motor Show)…

The RFID badges allowed visitors to post custom Nissan branded pictures of themselves onto Facebook…

Visitors were also given the option to share the cars they like on Facebook via special Like buttons built into the car info pillars…

Ford

At the Ford stand this year visitors were given head and shoulder massages…

Then to experience the Ford EcoBoost, visitors were put in front of a leaf blower and there reactions caputred and uploaded on the Ford Flickr Channel

"EcoBoost erleben!"

And for the more social visitors, Ford had a nice twitter based contest running…

Which of course I participated in…

And to my delight the Ford Twitter team responded within 5 minutes…

Kia

At Kia, visitors could superimpose their heads onto a football player and then have the custom postercard sent to their email id’s…

Chevrolet

Visitors at the stand could make small flipbooks of themselves doing funny dances in front of the main charachter of the Hollywood film “Turbo“…

Or they could write special messages to their loved ones on a piece of paper and the team at Chevrolet would instantly convert them into wearable badges…

Chevrolet was also the only car maker at the IAA who was using Foursquare to offer discounts on their show merchandise…

Mini

Mini this year gave visitors the option to body paint their cars and email the photos to themselves…

Visitors could also slide down a specially created tunnel at record speeds that were also photographed and displayed on a large overhead digital screen…

BMW

BMW like Mercedes also put up on a multi-sensory show at their stand. But compared to Mercedes it was short and not as extravagant. But it was still pretty impressive…

Kumho Tyres

Then on the way out I spotted Kumho Tyres giving away various petrol and tyre related coupons. To win the coupons visitors had to catch them while being closed inside a wind cabin…

And that was a quick overview on what I experienced at the 65th Internationale Automobil Ausstellung. (To read about my experience at the 2011 show, click here.)

Until the next show in 2 years. This is Sunil Bahl signing off from IAA 2013. 😎

Lexus IS Hybrid: Trace Your Road

To promote its new, high-performance Hybrid car, Lexus along with Saatchi & Saatchi Italy created “Trace Your Road”, an experiential event featuring Formula 1 driver, Jarno Trulli.

For the event ten Lexus fans were selected from hundreds of applicants on the Lexus’ Facebook page. These selected fans were then given the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat of the new Hybrid car with Trulli at the wheel. The course was traced by the fan sitting in the car on an iPad that projected the course designs onto the floor of the aircraft hangar with the help of special projectors. The car itself was tracked using a custom high-res infrared (IR) camera system.

Trulli’s driving skills were put to the test as he attempted to follow the spontaneous, real-time paths. Penalties points were given when the car went outside the projected routes and or touched the walls of the aircraft hangar. The goal of the game was to hit 7 selected touch points in the quickest time, the fan with the best score won.

This campaign helped Lexus successfully highlight the cars design and performance while innovatively connecting with its target audience.

Here is a short behind the scenes video to see how it all came together…