At a press event in New York City last Wednesday night, Volkswagen announced that the new GTI would be the first automobile launching exclusively through a mobile platform, more specifically though the iPhone game Real Racing GTI. This marks the first time an automotive company has ever launched a product solely through a free video game, with no other advertising.
“[Our customer has] got an iPhone, and he is rarely five or ten feet away from his iPhone at any given time,” said VW Vice President of Marketing, Tim Ellis. “So we felt that we could earn essentially 10 minutes of his time with our brand, where a 30 second TV ad is quite a limited exposure.”
Charlie Taylor, the General Manager of Digtal Marketing, credits their knowledge of GTI buyers as the reason for the exclusive mobile launch. “The fact of the matter is, we know the buyers of this car, they game… they don’t watch TV as much as they used to, and they’re online, and they’re playing on consoles, and they’re playing on devices like the iPhone, so it just made a lot of sense for us.”
Real Racing GTI is now available as a free download and was produced by Real Racing’s developer, Firemint. Real Racing received praise from us for providing the most realistic driving experience on the iPhone.
Since the event marked the launch of the sixth edition of the GTI, players will also have the chance to win one of six different limited edition GTIs by logging in and playing. To further appeal to gaming audience, G4’s Olivia Munn hosted the event and helped guests learn the controls of the game.
Check out our interview with Charlie Taylor below, and watch his surprise when he learns that Real Racing received a 9.5 in our Gamespot/Slide to Play review.