Chevrolet and Microsoft team up for Volt 'test drives' on the Xbox 360

Chevrolet this week launched a multiscreen ad campaign that allows consumers to take the Volt for a virtual test drive using Kinect for Xbox 360.

Suzanne Ashe
Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.
Suzanne Ashe
2 min read
Martin LaMonica/CNET

Chevrolet and Microsoft have teamed up for the first-ever multiscreen advertising campaign that incorporates Kinect for Xbox 360 as a way to promote the Chevrolet Volt electric car launch later this year.

A demonstration this week at the 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival showed a number of innovative ways that brands can connect with consumers through touch and gesture on the PC, TV, and mobile device. The demonstration highlighted Kinect for Xbox 360, which offers controller-free games and entertainment.

For advertisers, this provides an innovative way to connect with consumers by enabling them to physically explore and engage with a brand through voice and gesture, Microsoft said in a press release.

Beginning this fall, consumers can add a local Chevrolet promotion event to their calendar to go test-drive a Volt or use voice-enabled search on Bing to find locations near them.

"The Volt applies advanced environmental technology to give Chevrolet drivers freedom from the gas pump, making it one of the most exciting developments the automotive industry has seen in years," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "Our marketing campaign needs to reflect this. Kinect allows us to bring the excitement of the showroom to the living rooms of our customers. It's a way for us to replicate the experience of physically engaging with a product that is essential to the customer's purchasing decision."

Microsoft's new Pivot technology allows consumers to zoom in to see a close-up of the Volt exterior and interior features without having to flip between pages.

"Chevrolet Volt is not only offering a new way for car buyers to interact with and learn about a vehicle before heading to the dealership," said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Global Consumer and Online group at Microsoft. "It's enabling people to virtually test-drive the Volt from the comfort of their own living room. This campaign showcases the kind of breakthrough digital campaigns we can deliver for marketers when we combine great partnerships with leading-edge software innovation."

Chevrolet will also be the first auto marketer to incorporate a branded advertising experience for the new Windows Phone 7.