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Audi should have left their iPhone app in the garage

It’s obvious by now that the words ‘iPhone app’ have replace ‘social networking’ on the lips of agencies and designers everywhere lately as we all scramble to find an effective way to use this new tool in the toolbox. The first attempt I have seen came this week from Audi who launched The Audi A4 Driving Challenge. It’s a game that let’s you drive the new A4 by using the iPhone’s motion sensing accelerometers to steer the car from a SpyHunter like top down view. You have to drive the car through three solo laps in a series of five courses. The game is supposed to be about precision and not “pedal to the metal” driving so it favors slow and steady instead of more video game like driving. This all sounds good until you play the game and you quickly question if the precision driving angle of the game came from the concept or was used to explain away the glitchy controls that only seem to work when the car is moving at a crawl. In their case the game just isn’t fun and certainly doesn’t make you want to have that experience everyday if it is what it is like to drive an A4.

The obvious question is could something like this help put an A4 into a consumers consideration set when they are going to buy a new car. In this case I can answer first hand as I am about to buy a new car and the Audi A4 and S5 were finalists in my consideration set since I love their new design style and I even like the new site for the A4. I can say for me there is nothing about this experience that did anything but hurt my perception of their cars because in the end this game which is supposed to help sell a dynamic sports car is about as much fun as your teenage driving test.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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