There has been a flurry of activity in the competitive space of auto advertising recently – so much so, we’ve devoted our trend update to covering some of the best. All aboard…

First up, we liked the thinking over in Brazil, for Orca Chevrolet’s ‘Rescue Ride’. In a bid to get more people to test drive their cars, they picked an opportune moment: roadside breakdown. When potential customers’ cars had let them down, instead of being driven home in a pickup truck, Orca intervened in an otherwise bad day with a positive brand experience. [Watch].

Next, over to France, where Renault have been making something of an ‘investment in people’ with their new scheme, Renault MOBILIZ. A social business initiative, they have been encouraging dealers and service outlets to develop affordable servicing, even nominal fees, to help what Contagious Magazine identifies as 8 million people living there in financial difficulty. An important step in enabling those people to mobilise, find, and create work, the scheme extends to car-pooling and ultra-low fee car hire, in a partnership with Voiture & Co. The hope is to create future loyal consumers – and this positioning can’t harm the brand’s socially responsible image in France. [Watch].

In South Africa, VW have created a Facebook challenge which involves users ploughing through Google Street View streets and dropping a pin on every VW car they see. Four finalists will be picked from the participants, themselves and a partner then being flown to a swanky hotel in Cape Town, where they’ll be given a car to do exactly the same in a ‘live-playoff’. Winners will take home a digital hamper packed with Apple goodies. [Play].

Both Volvo and Toyota have revealed augmented reality apps for smart devices. Volvo’s iPad app was created for the Geneva Auto Show, and uses the technology to “X-Ray” the car (using image mapping) to show that under its skin, it’s bursting with cool technology and fancy features. [Watch].

Toyota took a more game-based approach for their own iOS and Android app, which required users to print off a “Made to Thrill” ‘marker’ from their website and place it somewhere they wished to ‘race’ a Toyota 86, for example, their living room, or kitchen. The app was launched with a full microsite which encouraged users to add videos of their racing exploits. While few have uploaded vids, the app generated a hugely successful 83,500 downloads on iOS in a month alone. A Facebook game is set to follow, according to Contagious. [Watch].

And finally for now, in what is sure to be a compelling press release for many Le Mans or racing-car gaming fans, Audi is to bring its full digital-screened rear view mirror into production, meaning new drivers of their R8 model (which has no rear window) will get a full racing-style view of what’s happening behind them when on road. It’s the little things.

For much more, and to stay on top of the latest auto advertising, keep track of our blog [Here]…


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