Renault on how car marques will use VR for sales not just engagement

Renault says it will soon be able to offer consumers the ability to test drive all its cars via virtual reality headsets as the car marque explores how new technology can “radically change” the dealership experience and boost sales, not just drive engagement or awareness.

Yesterday (2 December) the car brand launched an immersive campaign that utilises 360 video technology to give Facebook and YouTube users the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a racing car at the Renaultsport Clio Cup.

The campaign, created by Manning Gottlieb, also allows users to experience what it feels like to be in the driver’s seat via Google Cardboard. It is aimed at changing brand perceptions of Renault, according to its digital communications manager Aiden White.

He told Marketing Week: “As a brand we’ve been involved with motor racing for a good 115 years yet most people still just associate Renault with F1. We hope this changes people’s perceptions of motorsport and translates across the personality of our brand too.”

White said the digital 360 video campaign is just a small sign of things to come in the automotive sector.

“VR is still new and in its infancy but we have daily chats about how to apply it to the dealership experience,” he explained.

“We’d like someone to be able to test any of our road or race cars at one of our networks through a headset. For the next few years virtual reality and 360 videos will be used by marketers just to raise awareness. However, within two to three years this tech will be used to drive day-to-day sales volumes.”

renault sport

White claimed it has been a successful year for the Renault brand, which he said is “well on target” to achieving its aim of 5% market share by 2017.

Moving into 2016, Jack Rands, Renault’s social media director, said the biggest challenge will be “moving with the consumer.”

He concluded: “We need to shift to where the consumers are as the ability to configure a car online and work out your price plan is eradicating the need for many to shop around at an out-of-town dealership. We will need to explore more pop-up locations like Hyundai have done so well at Bluewater in Kent.

“I believe all brands must become publishers and not just peddle along. Who is to say 360 video will be as relevant in six months time? We must keep changing.”