Getting Creative: Range Rover races the sun

To promote its latest model, Range Rover created an experience that pits driver against sun. From the moment the hero of this interactive film hops into his vehicle, he’s in a race to make it to his destination before the celestial light sets for the day. This being a car ad, our main man is […]

To promote its latest model, Range Rover created an experience that pits driver against sun. From the moment the hero of this interactive film hops into his vehicle, he’s in a race to make it to his destination before the celestial light sets for the day. This being a car ad, our main man is faced with all manner of obstacles and rough terrain on the way to his unknown destination. This being an interactive experience, users can get in on the fun as well by using a mobile phone as a game controller to play along: swipe to dodge falling tires; tap to shift gears and tilt to match the wheels’ traction while traversing rocky terrain.

The Brief

Marc Sobier, global creative director of Y&R New York, says Land Rover USA was looking for a game to engage its mobile-savvy consumers and showcase the Range Rover’s superior stability, road performance and steering. Just what type of game to create, however, took some consideration.

The Race

“We’d seen a lot of early ideas that were more video game-like, where you push left and the car goes left. But you run into trouble there because there’s the potential of someone crashing the car,” says Sobier. And crashing the car was out of the question.

“One major breakthrough came when we decided to make the action of the games ‘follow’ the action of the film, rather than trying to make the games control the film,” says Mark Pytlik, CEO of digital agency Stinkdigital. Layering the gameplay overtop of the film let users play and watch at the same time.

“This meant making the interactions relatively simple so that the user’s attention could stay on the desktop rather than on their phone.” The phone and film were connected using websockets technology, which enables the pairing of two devices in a bi-lateral fashion, meaning “those two devices can communicate in both directions, as opposed to the traditional unidirectional method of http,” says Pytlik.

“It was the optimal solution for an experience such as this, and gave us the ability to turn the interactive pieces into viable, playable games.”

The buzz-kill and the bonus

Sobier says the goal was to use all of the gestural functions native to smartphones in the gameplay. “Race the Sun” succeeds with one notable exception: “We really wanted to make it vibrate like it would if you were playing with a console controller, but we found out that unless you do an app, you don’t have control of the phone’s vibration device.” That said, Sobier says the client was ecstatic with the 360-degree interior and exterior created by Stinkdigital. “Typically they look very computer generated and I haven’t seen anything like this one before. That was a nice surprise along the way.”

Getting Creative
The Walking Dead Chop Shop

This story is set to appear in the January/February issue of Marketing, available on newsstands and iPad soon.

Brands Articles

Moneris predicts the (almost) end of cash

Survey finds 25% of young Canadians prefer paying with a mobile wallet

Coca-Cola brings mid-calorie drink to Canada

Naturally sweetened 'Life' brand launches with extensive campaign

Marie Callender’s aims to free moms of mealtime guilt

ConAgra-owned frozen entrée brand launches campaign with real moms

Ace Bakery rises up with first campaign

'Discover Great Bread' is based on consumer truths about bread

Activia brand positioning shifts from function to emotion

Canadian rollout relies heavily on digital to court millennial women

Snapchat drops the ‘chat’

Company also introduces new 'Spectacles' product

An agency exec makes the case for artists in the boardroom

Ron Tite offers CMOs a perfect roadmap for organizational creativity

Canadian CMOs open up about their 2017 priorities

Execs from Rogers, the AGO, Canadian Olympic Committee share the MES stage

Air Canada surprises Americans with 48 hours in Toronto

The brand's latest campaign aims to make Toronto a desirable layover stop