Mattel: Hot Wheels ‘Secret Race’ projection

The projection-mapping craze rolls on into 2011 as brands take to the new technology en masse in a bid to develop awe inspiring 3D events that consumers simply can’t ignore.

Mattel is the most recent brand to dip into the mapping toolkit as it developed a projection in Australia to promote its Hot Wheels toy car range.

The brand staged an event mere days ago, projecting a race track experience onto Customs House in Sydney, pitting a series of its Skull Racers vehicles against each other in a virtual race.

It’s a simple concept, but delivered with some of the more interesting depth perception techniques of the medium, alongside a basic but nicely linear narrative (rather than the usual chaotic expression of ideas brands employ from the 3D tech). There’s a lot of scope here for more developed ‘stories’ within the innovation, an area that’s clearly ripe for brands to explore.

However, the big downside with projection mapping is that is doesn’t transfer its jaw dropping wonder to the 2D digital realm and the tiny constraints of YouTube. The big sell here is on actually being there, and brands need to bolster their pre-event marketing in order to maximise attendance and interest before the projection mapping takes place, instead of hoping for viral and PR traction post-event when the impact is somewhat minimised.

Ultimately post-event activity needs to focus on the audience and their reactions in order to encapsulate the emotions that the projection evokes. Relying on the small screen and a static view of the action simply isn’t enough to convey the intensity behind a high impact event such as these.

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