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Matthieu JOLLY
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Audi in Norway takes advantage of Virtual Reality

What if you returned to being a kid? In Norway, the car manufacturer is encouraging people to discover the attributes of the SUV Q5 by test-driving it, not on a road but in a sand box, thanks to the use of virtual reality.

Fact : creating the sandbox 2.0

In order to promote the latest SUV model, Audi decided to take Norwegians back to their childhood.  As specified by Tommy Jensen, Marketing Manager for Audi in Norway: “for many of us, playing with cars in the sandpit is a distant memory. Let’s face it; the opportunity rarely presents itself once you pass a certain age.” Audi therefor decided to rekindle childhood memories with an immersive and exciting experience: the Sandbox 2.0.

le sandbox 2.0

When arriving at the dealership, the driver enters a purpose-built sandpit and creates a customised track: chicanes, bumps, tight bends and tunnels… everything is possible!

Having built the track, the sand is scanned by an infra-red based depth camera. 200 000 measure points are captured, enabling the creation of a 3D track which will be integrated into a virtual environment.


The participant then sits in a VR seat, equipped with a steering wheel and pedals. Once they have put on the Oculus Rift headset, they find themselves in the driver’s seat of the Audi Q5. When the ignition has been turned on, the race can start! Just like a real-life drive, the driver can see the virtual track that they created but can also feel the unevenness of the road, all whilst listening to the actual sound of the Audi Q5.


A way to truly discover all of the attributes of the German manufacturers new generation of SUVs.


Decoding : more than just a one-of communication operation

After Unite and Svenska Snöräddare in Sweden, Audi are continuing to innovate in Nordic countries such as Norway. Just like in Singapore in 2016, the car manufacturer is providing an immersive experience using virtual reality. Between the 24th of February and the the 7th of April 2017, the Sandbox will been to ten different dealerships.

Although this is a one-of communication operation, it is interesting because it shows the changes that car dealerships, and more generally, sales points, will face in years to come. 

As occidental societies move more and more towards urbanization, and therefore, have less time on their hands, companies must reinvest in town centres, bringing their sales points closer to their customers.

However, property in towns is dear, sales points will therefore become smaller. As-a-result, Virtual Reality will be a great solution for promoting a vast range of products in limited space. 

Furthermore, faced with proliferation of mobility actors and solutions, car dealers will have to find ways to strengthen their customer relationships.

Which is what Audi has done by playing the nostalgic “childhood memory” card, creating a bond between the brand and the client which increases customer loyalty.

Consequently, the Sandbow contributes to a broad evolution of Audi’s business model. It’s by testing and launching new services that the manufacturer will bond with their clients, by surprising them and by providing solutions more or less related to their original product. The brand is preparing for the future by creating a unique customer relationship.

Matthieu JOLLY
Facing with the changes in retail, today's innovations help Matthew to think about tomorrow's relationship between the brand and the consumer.
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