- Nissan took its College Football Mobile Tour to schools around the country every Saturday throughout college football season to offer interactive experiences before games while fans tailgate, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The campaign, created with The Marketing Arm and Float Hybrid, featured a 50-foot converted semi-truck with games that leveraged gesture recognition and skeletal tracking technology to place fans into a football experience. "Run the Route" used a fan's body as the controller as they collected coins and avoided obstacles while holding a football. "Precision Passing" was a digital simulation where the fan acted as the quarterback.
- The experience also offered a viewing area that broadcasted the top college football plays of the day, a "Blind Side Challenge" that tested fans' abilities to keep up with the quickness of Nissan's Blind Spot Warning technology and a 360-degree photo booth that placed them inside a life-size 2019 vehicle. The car brand plans to expand the campaign into college basketball season this winter, with unique basketball-themed interactions.
The College Football Mobile Tour helped Nissan to more deeply connect with sports fans, a sought-after consumer demographic. Offering interactive and competitive games in person gave the auto brand the opportunity to show off its car technology, educate visitors about the brand, engage with fans in real life and offer memorable experiences, with the overarching goal of building brand loyalty among college-age consumers, who are showing lower interest in auto brands than previous generations. The fact that Nissan is expanding the campaign into college basketball season suggests it was successful enough the first time around to roll it out again this winter.
Immersive, experiential events are being deployed by a quickly growing number of brands to make real-world connections with consumers and directly interact with potential customers. The events usually feature eye-catching visuals or unique integrations that inspire social media sharing, further extending the campaign's reach beyond those who attended the pop-up. FOMO-driven Gen Zers are often especially responsive to the events because they prefer authentic, in-person interactions with brands. Marketers are beginning to realize the potential of experiential activations at sporting events to engage with fans, especially as traditional TV ad buys are no longer sufficient in reaching sports fans, who increasingly watch digital sports content over live games on TV.
Like Nissan's use of gesture recognition and skeletal tracking, brands are beginning to upgarde their experiential events with biometric technology. Sony launched an immersive pop-up this month to celebrate the third year of its "Lost in Music" experiential campaign that let visitors create unique, downloadable soundtracks using their own movements, heartbeat and vocals. A camera recorded movements that were then combined with the music track to create a personalized music video. Previously, Snickers partnered with Spotify and Coffee Labs on an interactive biometric-powered experience to drum up excitement around limited-edition "intense" flavors.