- Car brand Infiniti debuted an immersive Instagram experience that lets users feel like they're driving a Q60 coupe around a racetrack. Visitors to the Infiniti USA account on Instagram can find the experience in the image-sharing app's Highlights section, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- After choosing a color for their Q60, users are placed in a virtual version of the car. A series of quiz questions asks them to select their next action in a "choose-your-own-adventure" experience. The quizzes get successively shorter, challenging users to react as quickly as they would in real-life performance driving, per the announcement.
- Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti worked with digital experience agency Critical Mass to create the immersive simulation. Critical Mass built the experience with Instagram's quiz sticker feature called Reactions, which the image-sharing app introduced last year.
Infiniti aims to engage Instagram users with a mobile, gamified experience that urges them to react quickly and shape the outcome of a simulation of high-performance driving. The campaign may help Infiniti reach a new group of buyers as sales of the Q60 have slumped 49% this year from 2018 as consumers shift their purchases to more SUVs and crossovers. By focusing on the car's performance in a racing simulation, Infiniti may appeal to younger drivers who seek a sleeker, sportier vehicle.
A gamified experience is likely to resonate with smartphone users who continually tap and swipe their screens while interacting with social media or games. Mobile games have expanded the range of audiences interested in video games, becoming a key source of entertainment for many people who traditionally didn't consider themselves "gamers." Mobile interactivity and "choose-your-own-adventure" experiences are especially popular among younger consumers that like having the option to control the content of a movie or TV show.
Infiniti is among the brands that have gamified their marketing efforts on Facebook-owned Instagram to stand out from competitors that stick to advertising on traditional channels like TV. Ally Financial this month started challenging Instagram users to play a virtual version of "truth or dare" that aimed to remove the stress of discussions about money. In May, Mercedes-Benz released an augmented reality filter on Instagram — reportedly the first for a carmaker — to let people decorate their pictures with computer-generated visuals that are inspired by the neon lights of Tokyo, as seen in a short film that accompanied the campaign.
Meanwhile, the growth in ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft has led to speculation that "car cutting" will be as disruptive to the automotive industry as "cord cutting" is to cable and satellite TV, forcing car brands like Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti to explore creative ways to connect with ad-fatigued consumers on their preferred platforms.