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Augmented Reality Puts The Ford C-MAX In The Palm Of Your Hand

We all know that buying a new car is a major undertaking, usually including many visits to a car dealership to see the latest models available.

But what if you could see a new car and explore its features without going to a dealer?

This is exactly what this innovative Augmented Reality campaign does, enabling British car shoppers to see and play with the new Ford C Max car – in the palm of their hand!


When Ford of Britain launched their new 7 seat Grand C-MAX car, they wanted an innovative way to engage prospective customers. So rather than a standard outdoor poster campaign, they decided to create an interactive outdoor campaign using the latest Augmented Reality technology.

ford-cmax.jpg

The basic premise of the campaign is to allow people to handle and explore minaturized 3D virtual models of the new C Max cars on the screen and in the palm of their hand.

ford-cmax-hand.jpgIn addition to allowing users to interact with the car simply by holding their hands up to the screen, virtual buttons let the user choose the colour of the car, open doors, fold the seats flat, turn the car 360 degrees and select demos of the car’s key features such as Active Park Assist.

The campaign was created by Ogilvy & Mather in London along with digital production company Grand Visual and technology provider Inition. The campaign was planned and booked by Mindshare and Kinetic, and ran on JCDecaux screens in shopping malls across Britain.

ford-cmax-redcar.jpgIn order to make the interaction as natural as possible, the team decided not to use any special “markers” or other symbols as a point of reference to trigger the AR. Instead, they would simply use a camera to observe people standing in front of the screen and the user interface would be based on natural movement and hand gestures, thus allowing any passerby to immediately start interacting with the screen content.

The team claims that this is the first outdoor augmented reality campaign to use 3D depth imaging technology in the UK. A special camera was used to measure the real-time spatial and depth information, and this was used to merge real life images with the C-MAX images.

ford-cmax-dog.jpgA key challenge was as no markers could be relied on, the system had to be good enough to ignore passersby while allowing precise control and selection from the user interface.

Mark Simpson at Ford said: “Using live interactive outdoor campaigns is a great way to really engage with the audience in a way that is not possible with static posters. This has enabled us to create a targeted and tactical campaign that is relevant and fun to use.”

Here is a short video that shows the campaign in action.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/bl8T9oYO5vY" width="350" height="288" wmode="transparent" /]

Dan Dawson, Digital Director at Grand Visual added: “Digital outdoor enables advertisers to get closer to consumers. Ford’s clever use of the latest technology is a great fit for the next-generation C-MAX cars. Customers can get a real feel for the cars before stepping foot in a showroom”.

Stuart Cupit, MD of Inition said: “Developments in 3D and interactive technology, such as depth sensing and gestural interfaces, now enable advertisers to deliver ever more personal experiences to the consumer. This is the era when the customer has taken control of the technology.”

For more about augmented reality, read these MobiAD stories:

• Mobile Augmented Reality Builds Deep Consumer Engagement

• Mobile Apps Score At Wimbledon

• Ebay Shoppers Use Augmented Reality To Find Local Deals


24.03.2011    Tags: , ,
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