Long seen as the safest “box on four wheels”, Volvo wants people to know they have some pretty solid performance design chops and can make their way around the track plenty fast, thank you very much. In order to do so, they’ve commissioned a game developer to develop a high intensity online game called “Volvo-The Game”
Despite the lackluster name, I think this is going to be a brilliant way to bring Volvo, and specifically the S60 concept, to the forefront for a more performance-minded audience — and an audience that may never have considered the purchase of a Volvo otherwise. By offering the game up for free on their website and encouraging consumers to compete for real prizes, Volvo has effectively ensured that this game will go viral.
I’m not sure what else Volvo has planned for the game, but this would be a perfect opportunity to engage with the auto enthusiast community through social media — blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It would also likely be good to support the game with a presence at automotive events like races and auto shows, where consumers can take a test-drive of the new game for prizes. Really, the ideas on how to maximize the effectiveness and reach of this effort are endless.
All told, this could be a much more economical (yet more effective) alternative to a mass market advertising campaign. Want to explore viral games for your brand? I know a company that has put together a few shining examples of the games they've put together HERE, HERE and HERE.