To stand apart from the competition during the crowded holiday season, Acura wanted to reinvent a holiday tradition that would invoke a sense of nostalgia, so it activated its "Oh What Fun It Is to Drive" winter sales event. Its main objective was to produce a social program that would generate earned impressions through time spent engaging with the brand and drive consumer traffic to the offers page of Acura.com.
Objective and Context:
Acura created the first Periscope-powered race: a slot-car race with a multi-camera broadcast and two live announcers. The brand invited users to #RaceYourHeartOut. Using an emerging social platform, like Periscope, gave Acura the opportunity to provide audiences with a memorable first-of-its-kind experience that connected the physical world to the digital world while raising money for charity.
During each slot-car race, the more a viewer would "heart," the faster the slot car would go. The winning car of each race raised $500 for charity. Through this simple interaction, Acura was able to resonate with a broad audience to bring back the joy and fun of buying a new car during the holiday season.
To generate widespread awareness in a short amount of time, Acura looked outside of its core social audience and targeted a broader audience of passionate drivers. Target groups included Formula One enthusiasts, Periscope influencers, and people who were shopping for a luxury vehicle.
Acura's creative and media strategy was based on the idea of rekindling the love and excitement of getting an iconic toy and translating that nostalgia into the joy of buying a new car. A series of promoted tweets that invoked nostalgia and excitement drove users to watch the race and choose a slot-car handle to root for.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Acura had to rethink the real-time Periscope broadcasting experience in a way that had never been done. It created two custom 3D printed Acura TLX slot cars and gave each their own Periscope account. The Slot Car Holiday Heats ran for two hours on December 10, 2015, totaling 20 head-to-head races. Users picked the TLX they wanted to race by joining the car's broadcast and simply "hearted" the screen to make it go faster. The hearts were then converted into units of current in real time and accelerated the corresponding slot car. The entire race was captured live via five cameras along the track and edited into a Periscope broadcast along with running commentary from Acura factory racecar driver Ryan Eversley and sports broadcaster Greg Mescall.
The purse for each race was a $500 donation to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Two hours and twenty races later, Acura had generated over 60,000 hearts and raised $10,000. In total, users watched 75 hours of races and Acura brand media.
The Periscope platform offered a new way to create a live event right in Acura's audience's feeds. With 75 percent of the media budget going to mobile ads, drivers could tune in and race instantly on their devices.