VW Electric Café. Augmented Reality, That Seems a Bit Surreal.

There are a couple of things that struck me when I saw this video on YouTube. First it’s a great use of Augmented Reality to advertise the thrifty nature of the VW Electric Golf. Second, it is how absolutely Western the setting, and people look. The Chinese people, not the token white guy in the video.

I know there is a huge fascination with western culture in China, and especially all things American, but Ogilvy Beijing and Ogilvy Hong Kong took it to a new level by using only English language titles in the Augmented reality application, and by making the only place the application functions a café that feels like a cross between an Apple store and a Starbucks.

The Augmented Reality app “Electric Café” from Volkswagen, was setup to educate and inspire people in China about how energy efficient the VW Electric Golf actually is in comparison to other electric appliances they use every day.

The café is peppered with AR markers on each of the appliances that are in the Café space.When an iOS device is pointed at any of the markers the AR experience comes to life and shows a comparison between the appliance, and how far you could drive the Golf based on the amount of juice that appliance uses in a day. It’s a pretty clever idea, and one that I wish I knew more about that strategy behind. I’d be really curious to see what the thinking was behind the very western execution of this.

By the way, is it just me, or do all of the people in this video look like they were just plucked out of some mid-western shopping mall in America.