We really dug Volkswagen's Night Drive microsite that asked visitors, "When was the last time you just went for a drive?" So when we came across a press release from Audi (posted after the jump), announcing its own microsite in the same vein, we looked forward to exploring its premise: "Global Drives. Essentially, it gives users the opportunity to see some of the world's best driving roads, accompanied by some stellar photography, and create their own personal drives around the world – all in an effort to promote the A4.

When we finally made it through to the site, it was a profound disappointment. The user interface was wonky, the drives uninspiring and the features were less than intuitive. Everything the VW site isn't. On the other hand, if you're willing to brave the Flash and create your own route, you'll be entered into a contest that allows other visitors to rate your drive, with five finalists being selected to win a prize.

Check it out if you've got a spare five minutes, but consider your attention span warned.

[Source: Audi]

PRESS RELEASE

Insights into the multimedia world of Audi

* An Internet experience with the Audi A4
* Virtual hands-on driving on the Internet becomes reality
* Prize: Audi A4 test-drive on a dream route
* Microsite with interactive route planner, statistics and photos

The Audi A4 turns the virtual world of the Internet into reality. From 29th May 2007 onwards, the 'Audi A4 Global Drives' program allows visitors to the microsite at www.audi.com/a4globaldrives to take an exciting virtual roadtrip in the Audi A4. With a little luck and an extraordinary virtual A4 itinerary, prospective customers can make their dreams come true and put the route of their choice to the test during a hands-on driving experience in an Audi A4.

"The 'A4 Global Drives' program for prospects offers a unique combination: an innovative website, an online community and a real-life driving experience. Not only can registered users devise their very own dream route with the A4; they can also sample the actual thing. The ideal marriage of the virtual and real worlds," explains Dr. Alexander Urban, Head of Interactive Marketing at Audi.

The first five finalists with the most exciting A4 routes will be short-listed on 6 June 2007. All registered users will then be able to nominate their favourite route as the winner, with the chance of securing a prize themselves: all participants will be entered into a draw to win a second test-drive on the winning trip itinerary. The competition to find the best and most breathtaking dream drives will be held ten times in total.

Users worldwide can define a favourite itinerary of no more than 400 kilometres with start and destination locations and three intermediate stops. The actual roadtrip will subsequently be shown on Audi tv and transformed into a virtual experience for all visitors to the microsite.

An interactive route planner and plenty of photos and statistics enable visitors to this lavishly designed website to take advantage of the multimedia opportunities offered by the Internet. The 'A4 Global Drives' microsite can be viewed in a choice of six languages (German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese) and is thus aimed at prospects worldwide.

Audi has already run successful programs for prospects providing web-users with comprehensive support in the time up to market launch of a specific vehicle. The number of prospects who obtained information about Audi models and enjoyed a hands-on virtual experience totalled 202,000 for the Q7 Globe, 131,000 for the TT Lounge and, to date, 111,000 for the A5 program.


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