Chevrolet and Microsoft Advertising Rev Up the Test-Drive Experience for New Chevrolet Volt

*Chevrolet is the first automaker to launch a multiscreen ad campaign that allows consumers to “kick the tires” virtually using Kinect for Xbox 360.*

PARIS, REDMOND, Wash., and DETROIT — Chevrolet and Microsoft Advertising demonstrated at the 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival today an example of the first multiscreen advertising campaign that incorporates Kinect for Xbox 360 as a way to promote the Chevrolet Volt electric car launch later this year. Formerly called “Project Natal,” Kinect for Xbox 360 delivers a whole new way to play, with controller-free games and entertainment. For advertisers, it provides an innovative way to connect with consumers by enabling them to physically explore and engage with a brand through voice and gesture. 

When Kinect for Xbox 360 launches this fall, consumers will have the opportunity to take the test-drive concept to a new level by driving a Chevrolet Volt in “Kinect Joy Ride,” the first controller-free racing game from Microsoft Game Studios. After viewing the video advertisement in-dash on Xbox LIVE or on the Web, consumers will be able to unlock the Chevrolet Volt in “Kinect Joy Ride” to actually drive the car in the game.  

Kinect for Xbox 360 opens a new world of controller-free games and entertainment. A special sensor recognizes players and responds to their movements and gestures. Kinect can also take pictures during gameplay, which players will be able to upload to their favorite social sites when the game ends. 

“The Volt applies advanced environmental technology to give Chevrolet drivers freedom from the gas pump, making it one of the most exciting developments the automotive industry has seen in years,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “Our marketing campaign needs to reflect this. Kinect allows us to bring the excitement of the showroom to the living rooms of our customers. It’s a way for us to replicate the experience of physically engaging with a product that is essential to the customer’s purchasing decision.” 

The demonstration of the potential Chevrolet Volt campaign shown at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival today illustrates a number of innovative ways that brands can connect with consumers through touch and gesture on the PC, TV and mobile device. One proof of concept being explored involves a mobile brand experience, in which consumers can add a local Chevrolet promotion event to their calendar to go test-drive a Volt or use voice-enabled search on Bing to find locations near them. Chevrolet will be the first auto marketer to incorporate a branded advertising experience for the new Windows Phone 7.  

Another proof-of-concept technology being shown is Microsoft’s Pivot technology, a feature designed to provide consumers with a quick way to explore, organize and visualize large amounts of data and make it more useful. It works by utilizing Deep Zoom technology (built into Microsoft Silverlight), which manipulates a vast array of items at once, all in high resolution, allowing consumers to zoom in and out of content on the screen. For instance, consumers could zoom in to see a close-up of the Volt exterior and interior features without having to flip between pages.  

“Chevrolet Volt is not only offering a new way for car buyers to interact with and learn about a vehicle before heading to the dealership,” said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Global Consumer & Online group at Microsoft. “It’s enabling people to virtually test drive the Volt from the comfort of their own living room. This campaign showcases the kind of breakthrough digital campaigns we can deliver for marketers when we combine great partnerships with leading-edge software innovation.” 

Other considerations for the final phases of the multiscreen ad campaign are to set up Kinect kiosks at Chevrolet’s promotional events and showrooms so that car buyers can play “Kinect Joy Ride,” and installing Microsoft Surface tables at the events, which could include information on Volt and allow potential car buyers to download photos and videos from their personal “Kinect Joy Ride” session. Chevrolet’s multiscreen ad campaign, conceptualized with Starcom through Microsoft Advertising, will start this summer.

The first ad experiences will be unveiled in the U.S. across MSN and MSN Autos, Xbox LIVE and a custom Chevrolet advertising microsite followed by the mobile and Surface integrations. Deal terms were not disclosed. Consumers can visit for more information about the multiscreen campaign and to learn more about the Chevrolet Volt. 

*Source: Microsoft (June 22, 2010)

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