Car advertising the virtual way – Hyundai Veloster

Way back in the early days of the web I worked on, amongst other things, the Vauxhall car website. This was on an off for several years (we worked on multiple accounts in the early days). This was around 1997, a time when many of the things we wanted to do were not technically possible, or the web had not quite got where it needed to go. It was also at a time of CD-ROM experiences on magazines as opposed to downloads.You can see the sort of things that team was being done in 1996 here there were a number of advanced applications, traffic reports, screen savers and a touring car site, links to videos, later there were 360 quick times of the cars. It evolved in the next few years, around 98/99 into a personalised web site with login and buying capabilities and car configurations. These sorts of sites are common place now and so it is expected to be able to look at things online. Something we had all wanted to do was put the cars in a virtual experience, or game so you could drive them. At the time there were games like TOCA for touring cars so we could drive Vectra’s around, in the same livery as the touring car mini site we used. There was of course no link between the game, us and the car manufacturer, nor really the ability to make that happen. After all it was only a game, or only a website 😉
Now though the whorl has changed and this is a prime example. As a free download in the excellent Xbox driving experience Forza4 Hyundai has released a drivable, and explorable version of its new car the Veloster, both in road and race versions.

So this is really state of the art advertising. The car models are well known for their accuracy and quality in Forza. The ability to drive and experience the car inside and out, yet delivered for free makes this a very interesting experience. It doesn’t require the car manufacture to be a games developer, the game is a channel. Many people with Forza, probably everyone will at least download it as its free, new cars in game are exciting. Game challenges will pop up that are car specific too. Photos, videos etc will be created and distributed by fans online.
The physical and virtual world start to blend even more. It’s gaming but not gaming at the same time.

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