Honda's virtual showroom uses 'aspirational architecture'

The Real View Test Drive project “employs neuroscience to educate and excite viewers by simulating and atypical, aspirational showroom.”

The virtual showroom (below) was created by creative production studio Saddington Baynes and DigitasLBi. It consists of a series of videos that mix live action and CGI to give customers an in-depth virtual tour of a particular vehicles features.

Creating ‘aspirational architecture’

According to Honda, 76% of customers take at least one digital action in the buying process. So the aim was not only to create a next-gen online experience, but also to “attract viewers on an instinctual, emotional level”.

This is where the team turned to the insights provided by neuroscience.  

“I see neuroscience as an informed voice – a creative coach,” explains Saddington Baynes creative director James Digby Jones.

The team wanted to create an ‘architecturally aspirational space’ to fit in with Honda’s brand. Colour palette, camera angles, lens flare and motion blur were all employed to have significant effects on the way that consumers perceive and engage with the Honda brand.

The Real View Test Drive is made up of over 300 shots, over an hour of footage, 17 languages and 900 outputs.

You can see the resulting tour for yourself here.

Measuring engagement

The project was underpinned by Engagement Insights, a neuro-psychological test that Saddington Baynes believes measures a subject’s implicit emotional responses to images.

Engagement Insights was used at every stage of the creative process to refine the answer to the question of ‘what is a Honda showroom?’

Chris Christodoulou, CEO of Saddington Baynes, explains the process:

“Customer behaviour straight from the horse’s mouth can still be distorted by peer pressure, morals – any number of reasons. With Engagement Insights, we uncover subconscious emotions, identifying how viewers genuinely feel about an image, without outside interference.”

“Using a pool of respondents, we tested some very, very vastly different versions of architectural space. Some results were expected, some were downright shocking. One of our least favourite designs actually ranked among the best emotional responses!”

You can find out more here.

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