Kia Likes Its Aussie Open 3D Augmented Reality App


Kia’s 2012 Australian Open activation featured a range of initiatives and events, but most of them were linked digitally to its global brand campaign ‘I Like It’.


Kia has sponsored the Australian Open for more than a decade after originally aligning the brand to the competition back in 2002 It has a range of rights spanning transport provision for the players, officials, VIP’s and the media to and from Melbourne Park, gaining exposure through court-side perimeter advertising.


But its work in 2012 was heavily focused on future-facing technologies.


One strand of its leverage plan was to feature brand ambassador Rafael Nadal (signed up to Kia back in 2006) on above-the-line work that drove consumers online to its website and social media pages where much of its more innovative activation took place.


On its Australian Facebook page the brand asked the question ‘What does Nadal like?’ and featured a trailer video outlining how fans could submit their guesses in order to win tickets to the 2012 Australian Open.


The competition provides a clear example of the way by which Kia is relating its wider brand communications to sport – with Nadal a key figurehead in its tennis-specific activity.


Also on the Kia Australia Facebook page was its ‘Tennis Ball Hunt’ initiative that invited fans to play an online game or download the official app with which they could capture tennis ball logos featured on KIA TV ads, in print media executions, at car dealerships and on outdoor posters. Those who used the app to take pictures of these logos were entered in to a daily draw and into the tournament main draw where the prize was a Kia Ria Si car.



This app used augmented reality technology to let consumers experience the car’s features as well as play the game. It aims to assist in the audience in understanding of the car’s key features like color and design.


The campaign was a combined effort between SMG Red, Yahoo and Channel 7 broadcast service of the Australian Tennis Open where Kia is a sponsor.


Further Australian Open 2012 digital activity from the brand included its ‘Open Drive’ video series. This shows players providing their answers to a number of intrusive and light hearted questions whilst en-route to Melbourne Park via its YouTube channel.




Making a connection between watching events live on TV and simultaneously using a secondary device – dual screening – has been one of the hot sponsorship trends in the last 12 months. This augmented reality/3D approach to the trend is fairly innovative and the approach to connect the sponsor’s brand, its products and the event across a set of integrated platforms is fairly ambitious too.


Augmented reality can help inform, entertain, navigate, compete, configure, construct, learn and buy products and services. All activities that sponsors can use to enhance the viewer/fan experience.


But results data from the campaign would be interesting, as it would provide some insight into whether a live crowd or screen watching audience welcomes such product feature type disruption.









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