Mazda opens pop-up VR experience

Mazda has partnered with shopping centre owner intu to bring virtual reality driving experiences to its customers. The pop-up store offers shoppers the chance to experience a 360-degree immersive virtual reality test drive of Mazda sports cars MX-5 or CX-5. Using VR goggles whilst seated in each car, customers will experience a thrilling virtual drive along the winding roads of the Italian Alps (MX-5) or around the famous Longcross test track in Surrey.

Complimentary refreshments will be provided to shoppers as part of the tour in Mazda’s Coffee Truck, which is based on a 1960s Mazda Porter Cab mini-truck. Mazda has also worked with intu to optimise its brand through intu’s affiliate website, intu.co.uk, and across intu centres through ambient media.

'Mazda is certainly making the most of its presence in some of intu’s highest footfall locations by creating such an immersive experience to draw in huge crowds. Popular shopping destinations like ours provide brands with fantastic opportunities to raise their profile among millions of engaged shoppers,' says Roger Binks, customer experience director for intu.

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Claire Andrews, marketing director for Mazda UK, adds: 'We’re delighted to partner with intu as we’re able to reach thousands of customers across its prime shopping centres in a short space of time. With virtual reality, our aim is to create a sense of oneness with the car through an immersive experience as customers can test drive one of our vehicles without leaving the store. This will bring people much closer to the vehicle itself, allowing them to explore the quality of both the interior and exterior of the car. We filmed the Mazda MX-5 on location in Italy earlier this year and we can’t wait to see customers taking a virtual Alpine drive in the MX-5.'

Mazda will also use this technology to enhance the retail experience through the launch of its Drive Together app.

'The aim of this app is to enhance customer enjoyment and engagement with the brand throughout their retail experience. We are enabling customers who like to use digital devices as part of their shopping process, so each dealership will have the VR hardware to showcase the new interactive digital brochures and to offer exciting VR experiences akin to those found on the retail tour,' says Andrews.

After its recent tour at intu Trafford Centre, intu Victoria Centre and intu Milton Keynes, Mazda will visit intu Lakeside followed by intu Braehead.

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