Ford Escape Routes

Ford wanted to launch the new Escape in a way that would give folks something they had never experienced before in branded entertainment. So in an industry first, Ford took the small screen to the second screen by combining TV with social media and mini-gameplay to create the first prime time Social TV show: Escape Routes.

Six teams took on daredevil stunts while enlisting online fans as Virtual Teammates (VTMs), who’s real-time support, determined who crossed the finish line each week. The social media buzz around Escape Routes exceeded all expectations and benchmarks. There was a 1,033% increase in @FordEscape Twitter followers and 50% increase in Facebook Likes.

The Silent Song Contest

People are known to let loose and sing like crazy in their cars. So for the launch of the new Renault Clio, Belgian ad agency, Boondoggle turned this curious human behavior into a Facebook game.

A series of online videos were posted on Facebook that had various Clio drivers singing…the only catch being the sound had been removed. To participate, players had to lip read and guess the correct song as quickly as possible. The player with the most correct guesses at the end of the promotion won the Clio!

IAA Walk of Innovations – 2011

I was at the IAA 2011 this Saturday, and I got a glimpse of our automobile future! It was truly awe inspiring to see where the automobile industry is headed – almost all electric, fully computerized with interactive dashboards and window displays as seen in the below picture…

But while I looked at all the cars with amazement, I kept a close look out for innovative implementations of “todays” cutting edge technologies. I was curious to see how cars makers would use Touch Displays, Social Media, QR Codes, Augmented Reality etc to engage visitors at such a humongous event.

Here is a quick photo report of what I found interesting and innovative at the show…


The Volkswagen Blue Motion technology was presented through a huge “motion based” interactive display. The visitors did not need to touch the display, but just use various gestures to navigate through the various menu options.


Visitors were able to use the motion based interactive display to learn more about Renault Twingo – one could change the colors of the model, watch demo videos etc.


The main draw at the Hyundai stall was the “Dream of Sand” show by Svetlana Goncharenko and Natalya Netselya who created vivid pictures in realtime on sand (as seen above)! For a non Hyundai branded sand demo click here.

Hyundai was also one of the only car brands trying to connect their stall with Facebook. Consumers needed to “Like” their Facebook Page in order to be part of a lucky draw that would give them a chance to drive their Hyundai dream car. Important details like Fan Page URL and more contest infos were not available or just not easily accessible? 😕


Skoda was giving its visitors Augmented Reality Pins! The Junaio AR app needed to be used to scan the pin and activate the augmented reality. Most of the pins were gone by the time I got there. So I just scanned the above info card to see if I got some cool three dimensional messaging. But it turned out to be just 9 different regional videos.


At the Citroen Eco Drive simulator, visitors could take the car for a 3D test drive!

iPads were being used by majority of the car manufactures to interactively share model specifications, videos, brochures and also take automated enquires from high potential buyers.


Opel had used the Microsoft Surface technology to share infos on their cars. It was my first live experience with the surface technology. I found it to work exactly like the Apple touch interface, even though it was not as sensitive and smooth.


Ford just like Citroen and Volvo had also set up a car simulator at their stall (as seen above).

They also engaged the visitors with a small “collect the stamps” game. The game made the visitors goto each section of the Ford stall, correctly answer some easy questions related to the car / technology, collect the stamps and get nice Ford branded water bottles. Additionally visitors could play further and win 2 tickets for the UEFA Champions League Finals in 2012.


Visitors could scan the QR code on the floor to view a short Chevrolet Volt specs video.


The Volvo Open 70 Simulator, gave visitors a first hand experience of what all the Volvo Sailing team goes through when they go sailing in the ocean…

On taking the ride I could not help but slide steeply from left to right on the seat. There was also non stop wind blowing on my head with regular splashes of water! It gave a great 4D kind of experience to the whole thing.

Additionally visitors could also try to hoist a virtual sail! On my second attempt I managed to hoist the sail in 12.3 seconds. The current record was set at 9.03 seconds by one of the previous visitors…

Mini Cooper

I really enjoyed visiting the Mini Cooper stall. Their displays were just amazing! A beautiful Mini surrounded by a bright circular display was seen on entering the stall…

Mini’s in all colors were on display with various digital displays on the walls…

They were also showcasing their new iPhone app for their car which claimed to be the intelligent link between the driver and his Mini. This new Driving Excitement App had features that helped the driver perfect an even more sporty and precise driving style…

I also spotted Lancia, Fiat and Alfa Romeo promoting their iPhone apps via simple leaflets.

A nice souvenirs section also greeted visitors on the first floor of their stall.

In the end I got to drive my own Mini. 😉


The BMW stall was the biggest in terms of size and digital displays! Two of the most stunning concept cars from the whole of IAA could be seen here.

The car from the above photo has been used in the new hollywood blockbuster “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol.”

Above is the BMW i3 Concept city car. At its stall I found an interactive telescope (seen below) through which I could watch various videos and product demos. To select a video I had to move the telescope around and point it at the desired video…

I spent 7 hours at IAA! It was totally awesome! The only car stalls I could not visit were that of the Mercedes and Audi…there were just way too many people crowding their stalls, and if I had waited, I would have missed at least half of all the other things I saw during my time there.

I look forward to the next Internationale Automobil Ausstellung in 2 years. Till then this is Sunil Bahl signing off from IAA 2011. 😎

Prigat “Smile Stations”

Publicis Israel and e-dologic are back with a new campaign for Prigat, a leading company in the Israeli fruit juice market.

This time they have used innovative digital billboards called “Smile Stations” to send real time messages at various train stations. The aim was to get passers by to smile, and like their message.

People walking by could approach the screen and press a physical “Like” button. This in turn would broadcast the video of the moment back to the user who sent it via the Prigat Facebook Page. Users who generated the most smiles won a prize.

There were over 10,000 messages sent to screens at train stations around Israel and thousands of people responded by hitting the like button…

Google Maps Racing Advergame

Mini France has managed to successfully offer a virtual Mini experience with the help of a Social / Google Maps mash-up advergame called “Mini Maps”.

With DDB Paris and Unit9 they created a Facebook app that lets you customize a virtual Mini and then challenge Facebook friends to time trials around the world through Google Maps. In the challenge you are racing your friends over satellite images of your favorite locations around the world!

3D Video Mapping Interactivity Test

NuFormer after executing 3D video mapping projections onto objects and buildings worldwide, have now used interactivity in their latest addition to this technology.

During the interactive projection test the spectators became the controller and interacted realtime with the building by using gesture based tracking (Kinect). People could influence the content by using an iPad, iPhone or web based application made available for both mobile phone and computer use. For this test Facebook interactivity was used but any type of social media can also be incorporated into the projection.

This is an exciting development for projection mapping and we should be seeing this featured in some great campaigns to come.

SAS “Up for Grabs”

To promote a million seat fare sale, Scandinavian Airlines via Crispin Porter Boglusky Stockholm ran a competition on Facebook where SAS fans could grab a free trip. All the fans had to do was make their profile pic into a custom made Up For Grabs image and simply post a matching image where they grab the trip on the SAS Facebook wall.

The campaign was against the Facebook promotional terms & conditions, so eventually it was shut down. But not before a winner was chosen!

KLM Surprise

KLM launched a great Social Media Customer Engagement campaign which involved monitoring people who check in via foursquare for flights or tweet about waiting to board the next KLM service, and they called it “KLM Surprise” as their aim was to bring random surprises and happiness to the boring wait for flights.

Once the customer was chosen for the KLM Surprise, the team would then come up with the perfect (small) gift based on the customers various social networking profiles. The gift would then be hand delivered to the surprised customer at the airport gates.

Greeting your customers and thanking them for visiting your business after they’ve checked in is, of course, a best practice for any company using foursquare, but KLM Surprise takes it to a whole new level. The personal touch that’s exhibited through each of the interactions shows that the KLM team is really looking to make peoples days while they’re traveling, and that goes a long way to “spreading happiness”.

What the F**k is Social Media NOW?

Here is a very interesting presentation from Marta Kagan, highlighting some amazing stats and growth comparisons of social media. She has also collected some of the best quotes on social media, from the worlds brightest people, to help depict exactly where social media is right now.

The presentation makes a point, that it’s no longer “what is social media?” but “what is social media now?”.

Webcam Social Shopper

Here is a great example of tomorrows upcoming online shopping experience. The Zugara app couples the functionality of Augmented Reality and Motion Capture!

The app allows you to hold articles of clothing up in front of yourself, while it tracks your movements so that you can interact with the site’s content when standing several feet away from your computer’s controls.