Acura Hopes to Expand Its Immersive VR Activation Beyond Its Sundance Debut

Experiential marketing effort was a hit at the festival

Mood Roads had over 1300 riders at Sundace. Acura
Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Acura is using immersive technology to pitch consumers on the technological advances of its cars. The company is doing so with an experiential marketing effort, Mood Roads, that it has already tested at the Sundance Film Festival this past January. Now, it’s looking at how to roll out the experience at future events.

The activation, from Project Worldwide shops Spinifex Group and George P. Johnson, as well as Acura’s creative agency, MullenLowe, had over 1300 riders during its Sundance Film Festival run. Acura, a title sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival, set up the activation on Main Street in Park City—a prime foot traffic spot—and through a social media push that used influencers, the experience was able to reach 2.5 million people, according to Spinifex data. 

“We consider Mood Roads a success,” said a spokeswoman for Acura via email. “It generated a lot of buzz at Sundance, we had long lines consistently which ultimately drew more people through our activation. The activation communicated our exclusive technology Sport Hybrid Super Handling in a unique and innovative way.” 

The spokeswoman added: We are investigating opportunities to bring Mood Roads to other events now.”

“We’ve seen a lot of automotive companies climbing over each other at CES and other new formats where they typically haven’t been,” explained Ben Casey, CEO of Spinifex Group. “There’s a lot of [consumers] who aren’t connecting with automotive press anymore and they’re getting a lot of their news on automotive through the tech press so automotive brands have been desperate to try and capture that attention.”

Casey continued: “Rather than go to CES what [Acura] decided to do was take all of the things that we know to be trends at CES and package them into one experience and deliver it here where it’s the same audience but there’s much more of an opportunity to take over the message.”

Spinifex Group, along with MullenLowe, worked with experiential artist GMUNK to create the activation.

Everything that happens in the [activation’s] orb is controlled by your biometric input—the way that the road is shaped, the way that all of the surrounding environment behaves, the color it takes, even the way the music sounds—and ultimately it’s an experience that is completely responsive to you,” explained Casey. “It is intended to highlight the way that the Acura technology is going, which is much more anticipatory so it’s kind of bending to the will of the driver and that’s what this experience is encapsulating.”

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.