I have always been disappointed by car marketing. Sure there are the occasional diamonds, but in general, the marketing of cars seems largely to miss the mark. This is especially true online where sites provide wallpapers, 3D animations and feature lists. But none of this adequately captures the aspirations and emotions of the car buying public. It doesn’t feed into our extended sense of self, it doesn’t play into the visceral excitement of driving … and certainly doesn’t capture the palpable energy of the fan forums that have built up around the various manufacturers.
That is why I am excited by this new initiative from BMW. Building on the digital efforts of BMW films, the switch has been made from passive entertainment to immersive interaction — creating a new computer game that allows you to drive the latest M3. This is an interesting move into a cross-over category for serious games where the elements of online/computer games are employed with a serious or business objective in mind (let’s not forget selling cars is big business — as is gaming).
With the M3 Challenge, rather than waiting months for a test drive, potential buyers can run a few laps of the German classic Nurburgring course. Of course, this will build brand allegiance with not just potential buyers (this is about as close as I am ever going to get to drive an M3), it will filter down to all car lovers.
What I am keen to find out is whether there has been an integrated viral/social media execution built into the game. For example, high score submission, challenge/invite a friend, auto-blogging/in-game photo uploading etc. I will download and let you know …
File size danger — the download is a whopping 340Mb. Buckle UP!