KIA Game On
370,000+ Downloads
Synchronised Virtual Tennis
Watch KIA Ads
Return Sam Groth’s Serve
Win a Car
Creative Agency: MNet
Global Mobile Awards 2015 Winner:
KIA Game On Case Study

KIA Game On Interactive Virtual Tennis App Synchronised With Audio Watermarks

KIA, a longstanding major sponsor of the Australian Open, wanted to find a way to rejuvenate its brand consideration levels with the TV audience of Australia’s biggest sporting event.

Global media agency, Initiative, set a challenge to MNet, Australia’s leading mobile solutions specialist, to come up with a way to give viewers at home an Xbox/Wii-type experience. They wanted tennis fans to feel firsthand what it’s like to face a serve from a real tennis pro. And not just any tennis pro…they chose Sam Groth, the world record holder with a serve of 163mph.

The MNet creative team came up with the idea to turn viewers’ smartphones into virtual tennis racquets by developing a second screen app that would interact in perfect sync with a series of 30s TV spots.

KIA Game On

The TV spots were aired many times throughout Channel 7’s coverage of the Open and each one featured a different style of serve from Sam Groth, including his world record “bomb” serve.

Mnet chose Intrasonics to deliver audio watermark triggers to synchronise the app clock to within 0.5 milliseconds. The app also measured power and accuracy and players could enter their scores into a national leaderboard competition with the ultimate prize of a KIA Cerato Coupe Turbo.

During the 2014 Open, the app was downloaded by 200,000 users in the first two weeks of its launch and quickly became the #1 app in the iTunes and Playstore charts. Even after the tennis Open had finished and the KIA car had been won, people from over 100 countries continued to play the game via the KIA Game On YouTube Channel.

On average, players spent 15 minutes each using the app, viewing an average of 20 KIA commercials. Steve Watt, GM Marketing for KIA Australia said: “I’ve got people waiting to watch my ads and paying full attention, rather than just being part of a normal commercial break when people typically try to avoid ads.

MNet’s creativity and inventiveness was recognized in the 2014 Mumbrella awards where they picked up the coveted “Bravery” award and were highly commended in the Innovation and Specialist categories.

Travis Johnson, CEO of MNet said: “Winning the Bravery award at Mumbrella 360 helps position us at the forefront of mobile innovation.

For the 2015 Australian Open, the KIA Game On app was re-released with even more impressive results and increased social media engagement. There was more activity at experiential zones at the event and at shopping centres. New features for the app to make the gaming experience more exciting. And once again the results were outstanding, with an additional 170,000 downloads.

In total, the KIA Game On app picked up 30 prestigious awards including two GSMA Global Mobile Awards: Most Innovative App and Best Mobile Advertising & Marketing Campaign.

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I’ve got people waiting to watch my ads and paying full attention, rather than just being part of a normal commercial break when people typically try to avoid ads.

Steve Watt , GM Marketing, KIA Australia

The Game On app will really enhance consumer enjoyment of the Tennis at home in a way that has never been done before. And of course, such an innovative and technologically advanced idea matches perfectly with Kia’s core brand values.

Tony Barlow , Chief Operating Officer, Kia Australia

At this stage there are more than 100,000 people in Australia continually playing Kia Game On. It shows how mobile is the ultimate media channel to drive immediacy and frequency of people’s interaction with a brand.

Travis Johnson , CEO, MNet

Set the benchmark for TV integration!

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