Car commercials during the Super Bowl are about as American as football. And while there are several automakers that will continue the tradition this year, including Audi and Mercedes-Benz, another pastime is taking root off the television screen.
Genesis takes over Atlanta
Take Genesis, for example. Instead of running a commercial, it’s setting up a 10-day extravaganza in Atlanta. It’s offering free test drives of the G70, which was named 2019 North American Car of the Year, G80 Sport, and G90. Genesis conducts these test drives at Phipps Mall and Topgolf in the city during the two weekends leading up to the Big Game. Fans who attend will also be able to meet “past and present” NFL players, according to Genesis, and participate in events around the city. (If you’re not in the area and still want to see how the G70 does on a test drive, check out our Test Drive Review.)
Ford did something similar last year when it featured live events like the “Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride.” Instead of offering test drives, Ford offered free sleigh rides through Minneapolis, with participants getting pulled by an F-150. It was certainly a creative way to showcase the capability of this best-selling truck.
Volvo draws eyes with Care by Volvo
Volvo, focusing on its subscription service, Care by Volvo, has challenged users to see who can drive the longest in a video-game-style race using the S60. Drivers play on their smartphones, and the game uses facial-recognition technology to make sure they keep their eyes on the screen. It’s a creative idea, attempting to draw eyes away from the TV. Volvo Car USA’s Vice President of Marketing, Product and Brand Communication, Bob Jacobs, noted that The Longest Drive was a more engaging way of reaching out to fans than a commercial. Some caveats: Participants need an iPhone 8 or newer, Samsung S6, or Galaxy Note 8. Winners will get a free subscription to Care by Volvo, letting them drive a new S60 for two years. You can find all the details here.
In 2018, Mercedes-Benz did something similar. Called “Last Fan Standing,” this game challenged users to keep their finger on a car as it moved across the screen. The last fan with their hand on the car got to call an AMG C 43 coupe their own. The company chose to create this experience last year as opposed to running a commercial. This year, it’s returned to the Big Game to run a commercial for its new-to-the-US A-Class sedan.
Would you like to see more automakers offer interactive experiences instead of commercials?
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