To promote its new 2023 Integra car, Acura is launching a digital showroom in the metaverse on March 22—making it the first automaker to do so—and its first limited edition NFT.
Running throughout March Madness, Acura’s metaverse activation will give the first 500 customers who reserve the 2023 Acura Integra the chance to claim an NFT designed by 3D artist Andreas Wannerstedt. Each Acura NFT will include the artist’s signature surreal textures and colors, which serve as an artistic representation of the latest Integra model. Reservations for the car opened on March 10.
Inside the brand’s virtual showroom, dubbed Acura of Decentraland, fans can experience the model’s features, browse Integra wearables—also created in partnership with Wannerstedt—play the Acura racing game “Beat That,” and explore other immersive rooms. Acura buffs can enter the showroom, which will open during Decentraland Fashion Week, via the microsite www.acuraverse.com.
In addition to running NFT-focused spots on social, Acura will air the Integra campaign on broadcast TV during March Madness games on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTv. Digital displays and takeovers on ESPN.com and CBSSports.com are also part of the mixed media campaign.
Over the last few years, Acura has made inroads with tech-driven marketing. At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, its Mood Roads activation leveraged virtual reality to offer fans a full-sensory driving experience. Using brainwave technology, Acura tapped into drivers’ emotional, cognitive and physical inputs to create a unique environment with landscape, color and music that changed in real-time to reflect drivers’ moods.
Later that year, to showcase its 2018 TLX A-Spec car, Acura enlisted tech influencers and race car drivers for a live augmented reality (AR) driving race via Facebook Livestream.
Acura’s certainly not the first automaker to flex its metaverse marketing muscle. In September 2021, BMW launched Joytopia, a virtual world where fans could watch Coldplay perform live. The activation came in response to customers’ demands for personalized experiences in the digital space, according to Stefan Ponikva, BMW vice president brand communication and brand experience.
More recently, Mercedes-Benz debuted an NFT collection with five artists from around the world to celebrate its G-Class. Not long after, Lamborghini announced a series of five digital artworks accessible via a QR code engraved in five units of a physical object.