The Case of the Sunken Car: Peugeot's Multimedia "Whodunnit" Campaign

Who pushed the Peugeot to the bottom of the swimming pool? A new multimedia campaign, with a CSI-inspired Facebook game, challenges you to figure it out.

Peugeot is getting inventive with its advertising strategy, launching a cross-platform multimedia campaign to promote the brand. With content on television, press, radio, and social media, the campaign, called "Whodunnit," engages fans to help solve a mystery of how a Peugeot wound up at the bottom of a swimming pool. It's the first time Peugeot has tried something of the sort.

Facebook is the main element of the multimedia strategy, the central hub where the mystery unfolds and fans collaborate. The Facebook and digital components of the campaign were made with help from Euro RSCG 4D, which, while it sounds something like a Star Wars droid, is in fact "the first global digital network." (It can back that claim up: it placed four of the first 12 banner ads on the Web -- back in 1994.)

"Basically, you have an interactive video and flash-based game that lives in Facebook," David Skerrett of Euro RSCG 4D tells Fast Company. An interactive "CSI-style" interface allows you to meet four potential suspects and comb the scene for clues. You can watch the characters' police interrogations, you can sift through their cell phones and listen to their voicemail, and you can examine the car for fingerprints and the like. "Some clues are red herrings, and some are genuinely important," says Skerrett. Then you choose your culprit, and if you choose right, you have a chance to win a Peugeot 207 Envy. "We've not made it really easy," says Skerrett; the game demands a fair amount of focus and persistence to choose the right suspect.

"The concept of a cross-platform game is a great way of getting people to engage with and dwell in and among the brand a bit longer," Peugeot's Oliver Griffin recently told NewMediaAge. "With a reasonable Facebook following you can add extra dimensions that take any campaign well beyond TV." In November, Peugeot only had 450 Facebook fans; today, it has something like 4,500. Peugeot is gunning to at least double that figure by end of year.

The Facebook game goes live a week from Friday, here.

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