News: Renault Uses Shazam AR to Harness the Latest Star Wars Movie Hype

Renault Uses Shazam AR to Harness the Latest Star Wars Movie Hype

French automaker Renault is tapping into the promotional machine for Solo: A Star Wars Movie by deploying an AR experience through Shazam that's triggered via synergistic advertising.

To access the experience, users scan the Shazam code embedded on bus stop advertisements in 25 European counties using the Shazam app for iOS or Android.

Image via Renault

Renault provided photos of the experience to Next Reality. The photos show an early draft of the advertisements, which actually feature Zapcodes instead of Shazam codes. The spokesperson confirmed that the Shazam code will grace the final version, which are still under development, but expected to launch by the end of April. Nonetheless, we were able to scan the image with the Zappar app (iOS or Android) to preview the AR experience.

While the advertising has a Star Wars theme, the AR experience is all Renault. Users are able to view a virtual rendition of the Renault Kadjar right in front of them. Once activated, a virtual portal opens on the user's camera view showing a 3D rendering of the Kadjar on a remote road. Drones appear with signs pointing out key features of the vehicle. In the activation's third act, the Kadjar drives back into the portal and users are able to peek into the portal at various angles until the car appears back in view.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

In addition to the AR ads, the carmaker will show an exclusive scene from the movie and a VR experience to customers who visit its dealerships. Renault has also inserted Chewbacca in a new TV advertisement for the Kadjar (see video at the bottom of this page).

Disney has shown a particular predilection for using AR to promote the Star Wars franchise, frequently bringing its promotional partners along for the sci-fi ride.

Image by Renault/YouTube

For example, in the lead-up to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Nissan served as the movie studio's automotive promotional partner, hosting an AR experience at its dealerships.

Image by Lucasfilm/Nissan

With this new effort, Renault is following in the footsteps of automakers like BMW, which recently partnered with Snapchat for an AR-powered product preview experience.

Similarly, BMW, Porsche and Jeep have also employed their own AR apps to give prospective buyers a closer look at new vehicles.

Increasingly, it seems that augmented reality is becoming the perfect solution for getting potential car buyers into brick and mortar auto dealerships as brands opt to use the virtual to eventually sell the real thing.

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Cover image via Renault

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