Citroen’s Weird Science

It’s been 25 years since two teenage nerds wired up a computer to a Barbie doll to create Kelly LeBrock, yet the concept behind the infamous John Hughes movie is making a resurgence as digital automotive marketing.

Citroen is now inviting potential customers to configure their ideal date at Dating 2.0, “a pioneering online service that allows users to create their perfect partner through interactive technology” - which also doubles as a new digital campaign for the Citroen DS3.

The promotion  - referred to in accompanying PR as “a bit of light entertainment” invites user to select their perfect date by mix and matching various heads, bodies and legs to create their ideal partner. Once the most desirable human building blocks have been connected the user is presented with their finished…er, product… which is positioned against the most suitable DS3 model.  The campaign escapes any sexism problems by offering up both female and male models.

The whole experience can, naturally, be shared via social media and there are links to request a DS3 brochure and options to book a test drive.

Citroen has been involved in a number of interesting campaigns and alignments of late, including the virtual ‘Hide and Seek’ promotion and a partnership with Lacoste on a new fashion based concept car. The new Dating 2.0 promotion, however, is a slightly bizarre pitch – the notion that somehow your personality is best matched to a vehicle by your ideal choice of partner. This pitches the digital campaign firmly in the single market, sidestepping couples who may be interested in the new vehicle.

The narrative timing on the accompanying videos is also decidedly laboured and wooden, a somewhat clumsy use of video backup for the well-conceived digital elements of the campaign.

That said the digital element, with its built in social sharing, will surely gain plenty of traction with teenage boys – and the much older ‘dadolescent’ demographic – as they pour over the female creations whilst wearing bras on their heads.

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