Matthew Miller
Jan 8, 2014

Kia app challenges TV viewers to return tennis pro's serve

AUSTRALIA - Kia has launched an app that will interact with TV ads aired during the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament to give viewers a chance to win a new car by returning the virtual serve of ace Sam Groth.

Created with Initiative, Innocean and Mnet Mobile, Kia's 'Game on' campaign includes six ads, each featuring a different tennis serve by Groth—who is billed as having the world's fastest serve of 263 kph.

The ads coordinate with an app, which users have to download and open prior to the ad appearing on TV. When Groth serves the ball in the ad, users will swing their phones (hold on tight, the brand advises) and receive a score based on the speed and timing of their return attempt. Users can play as many times as they like, and the person atop the leaderboard when the promotion concludes on 26 January will win a Kia Cerato Koup Turbo.

The campaign also includes an online practice court, digital outdoor elements, and activations.  

Kia’s partnership with the Australian Open Tennis provides massive reach, and the app will enhance consumer enjoyment of the tennis at home in a way that has never been done before, said Tony Barlow, chief operating officer of Kia in Australia. The innovative and technologically advanced idea also matches Kia’s core brand values, he added.

“When you watch the tennis from home you can’t imagine the power of the players’ serves," said Travis Johnson, CEO of Mnet. "We’re giving everyone the chance to feel the pressure and react as the ball zips past."

The app syncs with the on-screen serve using audio-fingerprint triggers and uses the phone's accelerometer to determine the accuracy of the user’s swing, he added.


Campaign strategy and media integration: Initiative
Mobile app design and build: Mnet Mobile
Social Strategy: We Are Social
Creative Agency: Innocean
Australian Open Media Partners: Network Seven and Yahoo!

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