The launch of the Camaro was an eagerly anticipated event after the reveal of the concept car and role as the star of the upcoming Transformers movie. It would become the achievable halo car of the Chevy brand. The launch had to be special and groundbreaking.
How about taking advantage of the trend of Augmented Reality but doing so in a way that hadn't been done - sure, cute rotation of the car would happen, but what if we flipped the metaphor on its head - made the markers steering wheels - and created digital camaros. Instead of a generic course, how about courses built from website code? You could literally input a URL and drive on the internet.
Augmented Reality markers would be printed to match different trim levels. These could be housed in virtual garages. Limited edition print placements would allow access to special Camaros. Users could also build their own, and print custom markers. I didn't want us to just do dumb augmented rotations, so we spent some time figuring out that you can reverse the whole metaphor, and use the rotation of the paper as a steering mechanism, and the proximity of the paper to screen as throttle controls.
We designed an upgradeable gamification platform to allow for trim levels to unlock based on races - teaching about the product to potential consumers. When you were finished, you could send this to a dealer and actually have a real-world version of your car delivered - we'd match the car VIN to your digital VIN, thus achieving parity.
Racing - we didn't want to have a generic loop made, and the digital car seemed like it was rife for something more. So a little thinking landed on what I called the 'loose-string track theory' - each track would be a slack loop (self-closed), and users would put in a URL. We'd skim the URL to see if anyone else had raced on it yet (and thus allow for phantom racing, notifications, etc etc), and if not - parse the HTML code to generate a track - pulling and pushing the loose-string of the loop into curves, hills, etc. For example, every <p> would be a left turn, every <img> would be a rise. The loose-string would ensure there was always a connected gap to close the page.
Ad placements with tier-one sites could be used to highlight track times, special editions, and entice people to race on their sites. Highest-ranking sites would be given special ad incentives, and the best racers invited to real-world events. As the campaign grew, and the traditional team developed night and day treatments for offline work, we created hidden night-modes (turn the paper upside down) that would be released as easter eggs to completely change the experience.
Extensive research was required to get clients to get onboard as to videogame metrics, age groups, processor power, etc. Cost and feasibility, prototypes and vendor engagement. A proof of concept CG car was made to test racing. Green lights across the board, development had started.
Then GM went bankrupt.