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Showing posts with label Test Drive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Test Drive. Show all posts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Will the “First Online Test Drive” Inspire At Least One Real Test Drive?



Mitsubishi thinks you will be interested in driving their new Outlander Sport using your keyboard. To do this, they have rigged a SUV so that one can control it online.

I kept seeing the ads on TV and received some email from Mitsubishi (I signed up for updates months back), but didn’t realize until I went to the Outlander Sport micro-site that the test-drive is being held November 1-10. To participate in the “Live Drive”, there is a sign-up form that has to be sent before November 1 and those who register will receive an access code.


The drive looks like it will be similar to a consumer ride and drive event where several orange cones will be setup in a large, empty parking lot. The new Outlander Sport will then be controlled by a remote control.

“Live Drive”, “Virtual Test Drive”, “Online Test Drive” whatever they are called it is not something new. Every automaker I’m sure has had a brainstorming session around how can they get consumers to experience a test drive using a computer. If you can’t get ‘butts in seats’ you might have some luck getting people interested in a vehicle while they virtually drive with butts is in desk seats.

Toyota did their version of a Virtual Test Drive with their Yaris launch site a couple years ago. Yaris let users control four different camera angles and added some hot spots to get more information while the car drove through one of five user selected cities.

The Yaris drive highlights key local landmarks for those wanting to learn more about the cities the car drives through. Everything is video based so it is far more passive than what Mitsubishi is attempting to do with the Outlander Sport. The interactivity of changing camera angles or clicking hot spots doesn’t feel like a test drive; it feels more like switching camera views on a video game, not playing the video game.

I have a feeling the Outlander Sport “Live Drive” will be more like playing the game than controlling viewing perspectives. It’s an interesting novelty experiment. Will it move much product? Who knows? If it is executed well then it may catch some buzz and thanks to a somewhat healthy TV ad buy from a minor automotive brand it should get a decent initial audience.

I’m looking forward to my online test drive and will send an update to let you know what I think about the execution and since my family is in the market for a new SUV, who knows, maybe I might go from office seat to car seat as Mitsubishi hopes.

More details from USAToday.


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Try It, You'll Like It (Test Drive Marketing)


Everyone wants me to test drive their car. Maybe it has something to do with a new study showing that consumers are more willing to pay more for products they touch? Or maybe someone has been watching too much Yo Gabba Gabba: Try It, You'll Like It?

Several brands are trying to get consumers to their dealerships to simply test drive a car with all kinds of enticements.

For example, BMW Canada will let you test drive eight cars – 5 BMW 3-series variations and 3 direct competitors. Drivers will be given two hours to drive the eight cars in “six real-world scenarios.” There will be full slalom, braking, and acceleration tests participants will experience with professional drivers. The event must be getting some traction as the Vancouver, British Columbia event is already full, leaving space only in Montreal and Toronto. So hurry up if you want to quickly tryout some BMWs, a Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and Lexus IS. I wonder what car will be most impressive? Hmmmm….


Meanwhile, Porsche has been promoting their test drive campaign, First Mile, on Yahoo! The First Mile hopes that one mile in a Porsche will convince people that it’s time to buy a Porsche. Whose horrible idea was this? One mile in a Porsche is like having foreplay with Heidi Klum going nowhere. Sure it would be fun and exhilarating but also a major let down.

The Volvo XC60 team is running around the country getting people to see the Volvo in person. You can even checkout their Flickr photo stream. You can test drive it in a parking lot, and you can touch it with a bunch of marketing and dealership employees helping you understand the product’s benefits. Want to know when Volvo is coming to your town? Follow them on Twitter, of course.

So get out and touch a car. Maybe you’ll want it more or you’ll pay more if you actually open a door, sit down and wrap your hands around a supple leather steering wheel. Just remember to be careful, because if you a break it you bought it.
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