While many car manufacturers still choose traditional methods to promote their new models such as newspapers, television ads or the Internet, others opt for more unusual ways such as social networking websites. American automaker Ford on the other hand has chosen to promote their new cars by launching a virtual showroom on PlayStation Home.
This isn’t the first time that an automaker has launched a virtual Home Space on the PlayStation 3’s social gaming platform either. According to a report over at independent.co.uk, German car manufacturer Audi released their dedicated Home Space on the European version of Home back in 2009. The Audi Space included a futuristic mini-game called Vertical Run.
The Ford Virtual Showroom – which takes up ‘space’ in the North American version of PlayStation Home – will enable video gaming fans to check out both the interior and exterior of the Ford Fiesta and Edge models. While visitors are in the virtual showroom, they can also check out the Ford SYNC systems and even play a game with ‘digital rewards.’
As noted at autoremarketing.com, Brian McClary – Ford social and emerging media specialist – said that the Ford Virtual Showroom gives gamers an opportunity to check out their vehicles in an environment where people wouldn’t normally expect to find a Ford. When players guide their avatars into the Ford showroom, they will be welcomed by a virtual representative and given a ‘virtual T-shirt’ containing the automaker’s logo.
The rep will then provide the player with information on the vehicles and games. Players are then able to pair SYNC and the virtual mobile phone to provide them with access to three different games, which can also earn them ‘virtual prizes.’ These include a virtual SYNC-branded sweatshirt and a SYNC-branded virtual MP3 player and docking station to use in their Home apartments.
Once players have completed all three games, they will receive the grand prize – a virtual SYNC-branded digital photo frame. McClary added that the purpose of Ford taking part in PlayStation Home is not just to educate players, but to entertain them as well. What are your thoughts on Ford launching a Virtual Showroom on the PlayStation 3’s social gaming platform?