Audi becomes first automotive brand to incorporate 4DX into Canadian marketing

Now you can add Audi Canada to the list of automotive companies taking a page from the tech industry.

Last week the company released a 4DX-enabled version of “Pure Imagination,” an ad for its A5 2017 mid-size coupe that also happens to be the first commercial of its kind to screen in Canada.

“The campaign tag for the A5 is actually, ‘If AI could dream, it would dream the car we’ve just made,’ which is very similar to our goal at Audi, which is to make that connection of emotion on one side, and technology and innovation on the other side,” Christian Schueller, Audi Canada’s director of marketing and digital innovation, tells ITBusiness.ca.

“That’s what 4DX does… using technology to augment traditional methods with sensual experiences that push the boundaries of immersion.”

Produced by London, U.K.-based Nexus Studios, the 60-second ad depicts what we might see if, as director Bradley Munkowitz indeed puts it on his website, “artificial intelligence could dream,” starting at the machine’s inner core and continuing through a data fabric road, a photorealistic mountain stream and, finally, footage of the A5 itself on a picturesque highway, all set to the title song from 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

While not specifically designed to be augmented with 4DX, the ad is undeniably well suited for the technology, which Schueller called a “perfect symbiosis” of platform and content.

Designed by South Korean firm CJ Corp. and presently limited to one Canadian theatre, Toronto’s Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP, 4DX technology is designed to provide viewers with a more immersive experience than traditional filmgoing, thanks to motion-based seating and water, wind, fog, and lighting effects (but not, oddly enough, 3D glasses) that match what’s on screen.

“In technology you don’t want your content to focus on a cold theme or topic, you want to present a warm topic… to pull in people as much as you can, so they actually feel like they’re experiencing the real thing,” Schueller says.

“So then we said, ‘why not let people experience this new technology emotionally?’ That’s what 4DX does – you have a very emotional environment, because you’re watching a movie, but on the other side you have 4DX pushing the boundaries of immersion and using the latest technology to make that immersion actually happen.”

He notes that this focus on technology is already a key element of Germany-based Audi’s brand claim, “vorsprung durch technik,” or “advancement through technology,” and though he can’t discuss the company’s similar projects at the moment, he assures ITBusiness.ca that the manufacturer has “a few other thoughts and ideas” on the way, such as the all-electric concept car revealed this week at the Shanghai Auto Show.

“Innovation has been our key element from the company’s very beginning: emerging with new inventions that are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” Schueller says. “You’re always trying to make things better, or invent new things, re-inventing yourself along the way.”

“It’s a timeless message, right?” he continues. “It’s basically our brand karma, as we say, and differentiates us, I think, from other manufacturers.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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