- Volkswagen of America will promote its 2022 Taos SUV with a web-based augmented reality (AR) driving experience available by scanning QR codes on select Amazon boxes, per a press release.
- With the AR experience, users can take a virtual drive on a 3D map, add sounds along the way and record the drives to unlock three free months of Amazon Music Unlimited. The experience will be available on more than 1 million Amazon boxes.
- Developed with creative agency The Community, the AR experience could help the automaker reach younger, mobile-first consumers during a holiday shopping period when shoppers are expected to flock to Amazon.
Volkswagen's partnership with Amazon for an AR experience on the retailer's ubiquitous boxes comes as marketers look to move beyond traditional ad channels and engage with younger, digitally native consumers via mobile devices. With this in mind, QR codes have been popping up on pizza boxes, cereal boxes and just about any canvas marketers can think of. The strategy also underscores Amazon's growing role in advertising for brand marketers, including ones who don't necessarily sell products via its e-commerce site.
Like other automakers, Volkswagen's virtual drive arrives while the pandemic continues to affect in-person test driving and contributes to supply chain issues for new cars.By using web-based AR that doesn't require an additional app and QR codes, which have become a part of daily life during the pandemic, Volkswagen can decrease the friction that comes with delivering a unique mobile experience. Tying the experience to four musical moods — including "road tripping" and "city vibing" — and unlocking three months of Amazon Music Unlimited may boost engagement with the smartphone-based experience by tapping into frequently paired activities: driving and listening to music.
Volkswagen previously teamed with Pinterest to promote its first all-electric vehicle with a similar virtual experience. Created with The Community agency, the new Taos activation follows two fall video ads that focused on the joy of driving, and looks to bring the TV spots to life.
"Our challenge was to evoke joy, creating a connection to the campaign work, through a different medium," Christopher Neff, vice president of innovation and technology at The Community, said in the press release. "We were inspired by the origins of the music box and added the visual spectacle of WebAR plus interactive music for a truly sensory experience."
Car brands have embraced social media and other mobile-powered platforms to reach millennials, who now make up the biggest part of the automotive market. Other brands have recommitted to experiential activations that were curtailed early in the pandemic, with Mercedes-Benz USA promoting its line of electric vehicles via a 20-city test drive tour and several experiential activations.