How do you advertise the performance capability of a 610 horse power vehicle …without breaking advertising regulations? And how do you convey raw automotive power while staying true to Audi’s emphasis on style and innovation?
To convey the performance capabilities of the car we found a more interesting angle than simply showing the car performing at speed. Our creative idea revolved around turning ordinary human blinks into a personal unit of velocity, and in so doing creating an interactive race experience that allowed our audience to feel what the speed of the R8 might actually feel like if they were behind the wheel. In other words, we demonstrated the car’s speed in a uniquely personal way by showing just how much of the road they might miss through blinking while driving at high speed. As we were able to measure just how often each individual blinked, we provide a truly personalised statistic that put the speed of the new Audi R8 into a context our performance car enthusiasts would truly appreciate.
First we consulted with experts at the Journal of Neurophysiology to find out how far the R8 would travel in one human blink. The answer was a staggering 37m. Even though the average viewer blinked only 8 times in a minute, in that time they’d miss a remarkable 130 metres. Armed with this insight, we filmed the Audi R8 travelling down an airport runway. Later, as viewers watched that footage online, we tracked and counted their blinks using their computer webcam. Calculating each viewer’s unique ‘blink count’, we converted the speed of the car into a context not only unique to each viewer, but also easier to understand experientially. The actual distance the viewer would have missed, based on their individual blink count, was revealed to them at the end, giving them plenty of incentive to get behind the wheel of an Audi R8 for real.
While the race was only a minute long, on average viewers spent more than 8 minutes absorbed in the experience. The campaign cost was covered in less than a week, with a 390% return on investment in the first month.