Renault F1 : Driving visitors to return
Using of a competitive game creates the 'stickiness' brand and community sites need.
Renault, the France-based car maker, sponsors a Formula 1 team with its own website where petrolheads can fill up with news and features throughout the season. The URL above is the destination for fans clicking the ‘Game’ option.
Here you can use keys and the space bar to race round a virtual circuit. You get to do three laps of a track as the Renault team driver of your choice, Jarno Trulli or Pedro Alonso. Alternatively you can nominate to run in “duel mode”, which allows you to record a time and e-mail it to a friend to challenge.
The featured track changes regularly throughout the F1 season to match the circuit for the next venue on the championship calendar. At the moment, for example, it’s Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, scene of the real-world action on Sunday.
This feature does everything to encourage users not only to bookmark the site but also to spread it around.
First, it is finely tuned to the F1 context, harnessing the venue-hopping progress of the championship season to refresh the challenge of the game every two weeks. Even if you spent more time in the harbour than on the tarmac at Monaco two weeks ago the lap times are wound back to zero for Montreal.
Second, it gathers names for Renault’s marketing database in two ways. Users have to register with the site before they can record an e-mailable lap record to a friend. And, although the basic “Grand Prix mode” can be played by anyone, registration is required before you can record a time and establish your ranking among other users.
Renault is using the game to create the ‘stickiness’ brand and community sites need. Although in this context ‘grip’ might be the more appropriate word.http://games.renaultf1.com/Default.asp?NumLangue=2
First published on 12 June, 2003