The racing-inspired Honda Civic Type R has never been available in America. But that hasn't stopped people from driving it. For years, hardcore Type R fans have turned to the only place they could get behind the wheel of one in the US: video games. So when the Type R finally launched in America, we wanted to bring those hardcore fans along for the ride while also creating a piece of content that showed off the Civic Type R's ability on the racetrack.
We found the biggest virtual Type R fan, e-sports athlete Peter Jeakins, and gave him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to compete in an impossible race between real and virtual. First, Jeakins recorded his fastest lap time in a virtual Type R at the Road Atlanta race track in Microsoft Forza Motorsport 7. Then at the actual Road Atlanta, pro IndyCar driver Graham Rahal raced a real Type R against Jeakins' virtual one.
To make the race possible, the real Type R was outfitted with a custom AR windshield. It used data from several sources, including Microsoft Forza, Google Earth, and GPS data, and turned it all into a simple visualization that let Rahal see the gamer's position on the track in real time. The worlds of real motorsport and racing simulation were merged like never before.
R vs R led to some amazing business results: the first and second production run of the Honda Civic Type R sold out. R vs R also got over 132,000,000 media impressions and over 123,000,000 PR impressions. General media outlets like the New York Times, Yahoo!, and MSN featured it. Racing media outlets like BBC Top Gear, Motor1, and Drive Mag featured it. And gaming media outlets like Racing Game Central and Microsoft featured it. Even technology focused media outlets like VR Scout and World Tech Mag featured it. The large number of media impressions and PR impressions helped us reach our core target of racing enthusiasts and gamers while also reaching a more general audience. On top of that, R vs R delivered 8,000,000 core engagements online (shares/retweets, likes, comments/replies, completed video views) which surpassed the goal of 3,000,000 core engagements.
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