Man Versus Machine

The all-new Corvette was by all accounts a great car. We had the looks. It had the performance and precision. Now we just had to prove it. The launch of the all-new 2014 Corvette introduced a whole new group of people to the great American muscle car. The vehicle came with some challenges. Once king of the muscle car market, Corvette had become the “poor man sports car” and the segment was fading. With a progressively older demographic, our current buyers were literally a dying breed. We needed to attract a new, younger, more aspirational buyer and start taking on the competition.

We called our new target “Life Precisionists,” people who have built their professional and personal lives around the belief that merit is the only measure of a person’s character. They strive for mastery in everything they do, and that drives their self-defined success. Corvette didn’t have a street rep for that kind of precision…yet. The new Corvette was designed, engineered and built to offer a level of precision unlike any of its predecessors.

We had to prove the 2014 Corvette Stringray deserved special treatment. So we decided to hold the world’s first test drive where you don’t test the vehicle, the vehicle tests you. We brought a professional driver and five performance perfectionists to a racetrack and wired them up with brain wave and biometric monitoring devices to measured their vital signs and brain activity as they pushed the new Corvette to their limits. Through hairpin turns and straight line acceleration, heart rate and brain waves met torque and horsepower. The result was a pure adrenaline rush and the data to prove it.

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Hearts raced, stereotypes were shattered. The test drive was so much fun that we took it off the track so everyone could test themselves against the Stingray. We shared the experience on Vimeo.com/Corvette as a series of films each focused on a different aspect of performance. We even made the films interactive — one part Lumosity, one part driving game — for people to test their own precision, then share and compare their results.

The WIRED Store in New York City is known as a playground of products collected for the young, sophisticated, trend-setting customer. The 2014 Corvette was the presenting sponsor for their annual NYC pop-up gallery featuring the latest and greatest in gadgets, gear, art and technology. Curious guests could check out the car, and challenge themselves with an immersive extension of the online experience. Multiple wide screen displays in a custom “test area” highlighted the various features of the Stingray – from functional aerodynamics to advanced driving dynamics technology and stunning good looks.

People started paying attention—and they got excited. They also started interacting. Thanks to the reverse test drive, suddenly Corvette was the hot topic in blogs, social communities and the press. The experience delivered over 8MM video plays driving a 42% completion rate. The average time spent on Vimeo.com/corvette was 2:42, almost double the Vimeo average. Corvette gained speed on its competitors. Perception of Corvette increased in the attributes of engineering, sophistication, luxury, innovation and prestige. Consideration went up significantly in key target cities including New York, Chicago, Miami and Boston. Best of all, we destroyed the old perception of Corvette and gave a whole new group of car lovers something to dream about.