Kia Stinger VR: Driving Excitement at the Australian Open

Kia Stinger VR captivates Australian Open fans with immersive experiences


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In 2018, Kia Motors, as the major sponsor of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Tennis Grand Slam, the Australian Open, implemented an innovative activation strategy featuring advanced Virtual Reality (VR) and Mechatronics technology. Central to their campaign was showcasing the new high-performance sports sedan, the Kia Stinger, in an immersive VR experience designed to captivate visitors.

To bring the thrill of the Kia Stinger to Australian Open attendees, Kia developed two VR simulators. Each simulator accommodated four participants seated on authentic Kia car seats, offering virtual rides along iconic Australian routes like the Great Ocean Road or the Mount Panorama Circuit. These experiences were enhanced through VR headsets synchronized with motion simulation technology, ensuring that movements in the VR content mirrored those felt by participants in the seats.

The result was a highly engaging and widely discussed brand activation at the Australian Open, drawing long lines of enthusiastic fans eager to participate daily. Thousands of fans ultimately took part, making the Kia Stinger VR Experience one of the event's most popular attractions.

Bastion EBA and Catalyst VR collaborated closely to develop the Kia Stinger Virtual Reality campaign. This involved cutting-edge VR filming techniques, including capturing the Stinger along the Great Ocean Road using specialized VR camera mounts over three days. Subsequently, filming moved to the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, where the Stinger, driven by Australian Rally Championship winner Cody Crocker, was filmed in action over two days, reaching speeds exceeding 240 km/h.

For the Australian Open activation, Catalyst VR engineered two VR simulators capable of supporting up to 450 kg, featuring four Kia Stinger seats, safety belts, and the requisite VR technology for participants. This involved meticulous CAD modeling and custom manufacturing of simulator components using CNC machines. Rigorous testing and refinement followed, optimizing simulator movements and VR content to enhance user experience and ensure safety.

The response from fans at the Australian Open was overwhelmingly positive. Participants of all ages were enthralled by the immersive VR experiences, whether cruising the Great Ocean Road with spectacular drone footage or racing with Cody Crocker at Bathurst, feeling the acceleration and thrill firsthand. The social aspect of the experience, accommodating four participants per platform, fostered lively engagement and discussion among attendees.

Overall, Kia's innovative use of VR technology at the Australian Open not only showcased the exhilaration of the Kia Stinger but also left a lasting impression on participants, highlighting the brand's commitment to delivering memorable and dynamic experiences.

Rrahul Sethi
July 1, 2024
5 min read