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One day we're going to put together a post that commemorates all of the online video games that manufacturers have tried to present as real entertainment. Instead of admitting that these "video games" are mildly interactive infomercials, they just keep making cranking them out. Subaru's Impreza Shakedown introduced yesterday at SEMA can be counted as the latest online driving game you'll try once and never revisit again. Rather than keep talking about it, we're just going to include the press release after the jump in the hope that it embarrasses Subaru enough never to try this again. The Impreza and all of its iterations deserve better than this.

[Source: Subaru]


LAS VEGAS, Nov. 1, 2005 ? Subaru of America, Inc. launched an online game competition today at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, to showcase the redesigned 2006 Subaru Impreza.

?Our research shows a strong correlation in the lifestyles of performance and tuner enthusiasts - like the crowd here at SEMA, and online gamers,? said Rick Crosson, Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc.  ?We?re hoping to attract new customers to the Subaru and Impreza brand through the online game competition and interactive experience.?

Developed with interactive agency of record for Subaru, R/GA, www.ImprezaShakedown.com
features interviews, driving footage and advice from Subaru Motorsports drivers.  In addition to playing the game, guests can download wallpapers, music and video. They can also explore the features of the redesigned 2006 Subaru Impreza.

?Gaming is a great, unconventional way for participants to learn about and immerse themselves in the Subaru brand,? said Bob Greenberg, Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of R/GA.  ?This kind of engaging consumer experience is what sets apart great marketers like Subaru from its competition.?

To play the game, participants first pick a Subaru Impreza model and a Subaru Motorsports driver they want to race, then select one of three tracks and ultimately ?tune? their vehicle for optimal performance?picking the right set of tires and suspension to get them across the finish line the fastest.

Each stage features three different tracks. Times to beat are posted online along with a countdown to the end of the stage?s round. Players race against the track. Success will largely be a result of the optimal configuration of the car against the ever-changing surface of the selected track.

In addition to the entertaining experience, there are prizes at stake for those who put their driving skills and knowledge to the test.  Players compete in four stages, of which the top 30 racers will compete in a championship round.  Hundreds of stage winners will receive prizes like DC Shoe gift certificates and Impreza Shakedown T-shirts.  Three finalists will compete for grand prizes including a free trip to the widely respected O?Neil Rally School.

For complete competition rules and schedule, please visit www.ImprezaShakedown.com.

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