Volvo, Mindshare, and Grey have partnered with Screenvision and Audience Entertainment to bring a truly unique experience to moviegoers this summer with the first-ever in-theater interactive test drive for the launch of Volvo’s all-new 2016 XC90. Our goal was to bring some fun and interactivity into the advertising into what’s traditionally been a very linear and lean-back media channel.
This experience is designed to put moviegoers in the driver’s seat for a brief 90 second ride in the XC90. Participants will be able to choose whether they prefer a nighttime or daytime drive, the ability to choose their soundtrack for their ride, and more. The interactive test drive will be featured in 100 theaters across the nation. Read more about in this piece from The Wall Street Journal below.
Volvo is putting moviegoers in the driver’s seat as part of a new interactive advertising campaign in theaters, the latest example of a marketer leveraging new technologies to build more engaging experiences for consumers.
To promote its new XC90 luxury car, Volvo worked with entertainment technology firm Audience Entertainment to build an ad that lets movie audiences choose their own driving adventure simply by waving their arms.
The ad’s content shown on the big screen is dictated by how the audience collectively moves throughout the 90-second spot, as monitored by a motion capture camera inside the movie theater. Whether the ad will play a driving scene that takes place during the day instead of a scene that takes place at night, for example, will be determined by the direction most of the audience moves their arms towards. The audience’s movements can even control how fast or slow the simulated driving experience accelerates, the tempo of the ad’s music and how they explore the interior of the car.
Audience Entertainment’s technology has also been used in arenas, stadiums and concert venues, and the company has previously worked with brands such as Coca Cola, Disney Cruise Lines and Samsung.
“If you’re moving, you’re more likely to remember the ad,” said Audience Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Adam Cassels. “It’s very much like digital media –when you have a reason to interact with the content, you’re more likely to remember it.”
This isn’t Volvo’s first foray into interactive storytelling in video. The company has, for example, used virtual-reality viewer Google Cardboard to give users a virtual test drive of the XC90 on their phones.
With immersive ads, Volvo aims to “figure out how to offer something to consumers, whether that’s utility, information, or fun, in a very relevant way,” said John Militello, director of marketing innovation and strategy at Volvo Cars North America. He noted that Volvo will continue to pursue immersive ad campaigns that highlight the design and innovation of its luxury cars. Volvo works with media agency Mindshare and creative agency Grey.
Cinema advertising, however, is an especially attractive bet for brands because it offers a captivated audience that can’t fast-forward through commercials, as can be done while watching television. It’s also a platform that lends itself well to consumers engaging and conversing with one another, Mr. Militello said.
Movie theater advertising accounted for $632 million in advertising revenue in 2014, according to the Cinema Advertising Council, a fraction of television’s ad dollars. Still, this year is projected to be a record year for cinema advertising, buoyed by blockbuster ticket sales at the box office.
Advertisers’ interest in adding interactive elements to amplify the impact of their big-screen buys has been on the rise in recent years, said John McCauley, chief marketing officer of cinema advertising company Screenvision. There is a “premium associated with interactive units,” Mr. McCauley said, though interactive cinema ads are usually part of a broader media campaign for a brand rather than a standalone media buy.
The Volvo ads will run in 100 Screenvision theaters for six weeks.