words and stuff made by Jorge Camacho.

Ford - Focus Test Drive (2012)


This was the first idea I developed when I joined JWT Mexico as Creative Technology Director. 

One of the issues that caught my attention in the briefing session was the fact that people actually do love the Ford Focus once they get hop in and take it for a spin. So, the challenge was simply to get more people to test drive the car. 

On the other hand, I've always found strange the practice (which is very common, at least in Mexico) of showcasing cars inside shopping malls.

Thus, the activation/experience I proposed was simply to set up a test drive inside a shopping mall. In order to achieve this, I proposed to hack a real, life-sized Ford Focus to turn it into the remote control of a small-scale, RC version of the car. 

The system would work like this: The steering wheel, brake and throttle pedals (or, more precisely, their potentiometers) would be connected to an Arduino board which, in turn, would be connected to a Wi-Fi network. A second Arduino board on the RC car would receive via Wi-Fi the data sent by the first Arduino, which would be used to control its direction, acceleration and braking. Moreover, the RC car would be equipped with a small HD camera (e.g. GoPro or Contour+) which, via the WiFi network and a Teradek Cube system, would send the little cars' perspective video feed to a screen fitted inside the real Focus. In this way, the user could undergo the driving experience of a Ford Focus while actually driving an RC car around a scaled track inside a shopping mall.

As a proof of concept, I hacked a videogame controller, RC car, and cheap wireless video camera.