Toyota has launched an AR experience for U.S. car buyers interested in the latest model of the Toyota Crown. The carmaker’s “Says So Much” campaign, which kicked off last month, uses digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads that push consumers to the experience with a QR code on the ad. The app-free AR experience was developed in partnership with Yahoo.
When users scan the QR code they can see a 3D rendering of the new car on their phone screens, placed in the context of their immediate surroundings, which are captured by the phone’s camera. They can interact with the virtual car by rotating the image, changing the car’s color, zooming in and getting behind the wheel for a test drive.
Why we care. Buying a car is a big decision relying heavily on in-person sales interactions. For automakers, augmented reality (AR) can act as a digital bridge allowing consumers to find out more about the product and how it looks.
It’s one thing to see a detailed 3D image in a neutral setting on a website. AR goes a step further by allowing users to see the 3D image in the buyer’s environment. As a result, a buyer doesn’t have to imagine what the car might look like in their driveway. They can point their phone at the driveway and see what the car looks like in that setting, or any other context.
Dig deeper: Why we care about AR and VR: A marketer’s guide
Multi-channel campaign. In addition to DOOH ads, the Toyota Crown campaign also uses display banners and connected TV pre-roll ads.
“Identifying innovative ways to bring our digital marketing to life plays a crucial role in our campaign strategies, especially when introducing this new sedan,” said Angie White, senior manager, media, Toyota Motor North America, in a company statement.
Value of AR. “The Yahoo AR partnership helps drivers discover the Toyota Crown in a meaningful and interactive way,” White added.
Car shoppers get value from the AR experience by being able to closely see the car from all angles in a way you can’t on a website.
Tapping the driver’s side car door brings the viewer into the car, behind the steering wheel, to find out what it’s like to test drive the car. Users can tap on other icons to pull up additional “educational hotspots” that further educate the consumer about the Toyota Crown’s features.
Toyota partnered with Yahoo Creative Studios to create the AR experience, which uses the 8th Wall WebAR platform. Toyota is the latest carmaker to use a virtual experience for marketing. Last year Acura had a campaign on Decentraland featuring a virtual showroom and NFT promotion.
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