Schwab Firebird AR Experience for the Charles Schwab Challenge
Charles Schwab has one of the coolest trophies on the PGA Tour. Sam Burns, the winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge, earned $1,512,000 of an $8.4 million purse, his name on the Leonard Trophy, and a handsome red tartan jacket, but he also received the keys to a custom rebuilt 1979 Firebird Trans-Am.
Groove Jones worked with the Charles Schwab R&D team and their agency Episode Four to bring an AR experience that highlights the technical and custom upgrades on the Schwab Firebird.
The custom-built firebird was built and designed by Steve Strope at Pure Vision, who creates amazing one-of-a-kind street machines. The car was designed with original, striking features, like Schwab-branded paintwork, a Colonial-inspired interior, and multiple tech upgrades.
After launching the AR experience, golf (and car) fans can place the Schwab Firebird wherever they want. Once activated, they can rotate and position the ride for some great photo ops.
By tapping on the multiple hotspots, they start the custom features in the vehicle. Tap on the engine or the seat icon, and 3D animated AR elements fly out of the car for you to check out.
You can swing the vehicle upward by tapping on the car hood, revealing the custom-painted Azzuro California blue paint scheme with a hand-painted Firebird graphic on the hood modeled after the one worn on Firebird Trans-Am models. Tap on the Bluetooth icon to activate music.
You see the HRE classic series performance wheels, Michelin Performance tires, and Baer racing brakes by activating the wheels.
Each digital piece was developed by hand by the Groove Jones 3D and technical artist team. No CAD files are used here. They were given reference photography of the vehicle’s featured parts, and their talented crew recreated them digitally in extreme detail.
They even animated critical parts of the car.
The seats are Porsche Panamera and wrapped in custom Schwab-themed upholstery. Groove Jones even added the same material pattern from the winner’s jacket on the sides of the seats.
Promotion at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club
Groove Jones worked with Episode Four to add points of engagement with golf fans throughout the course. The Schwab Firebird display was one of the significant points of interaction.
Here fans could walk up to the physical vehicle or scan any QR codes located on the ground around the car to activate the digital experience.
Brand Ambassadors and bartenders handed out custom koozies with a QR code that could be scanned to activate the digital experience wherever you are.
There were custom-designed aluminum outdoor kiosks within the hospitality villages that had a special tabletop version of the AR. By scanning the QR code, your camera would place the AR on top of the kiosk using image recognition of the graphic.
Digital Campaign – Twitter and Banner Ads
During the event, golf fans may have seen an online banner ad campaign that drove people to the digital experience without attending the event. The ads pushed traffic to the Schwab Firebird website.
Other social posts ran across various social platforms through Charles Schwab’s owned media channels.
This included posts by influences and celebrities like country-western singe Jack Owen, who was involved in the music video – “East Bound & Down”.
How 1979 Connects Charles Schwab As An Innovation Leader
The 1979 Trans Am Firebird highlights an important year in the company’s history. This was the year that founder and chairman, Charles Schwab, made a significant investment in computing technology with the BETA mainframe system.
This “bet-the-company” move was a risk that paid off and set the tone for decades to come. When the automated transaction and recordkeeping system launched in 1979, it demonstrated that improving clients’ experience through technology can be a crucial growth driver.
This paved the way for Schwab to become the digital and innovation leader it is today. The use of AR was a direct connection to the technology theme.
The Schwab Firebird
The 1979 Firebird Trans-Am’s styling is most familiar as the car Burt Reynolds drove in Smoky and the Bandit.
With that in mind, Schwab commissioned country singer Jake Owen to record a new version of the Jerry Reed theme song from that film, “East Bound and Down,” with the Schwab Firebird included in the song’s music video.
While Groove Jones had nothing to do with the music video, the team was thrilled to see their childhood memories reimagined for today.
About Groove Jones
Groove Jones is a creative technology company that produces next-generation (AR/VR/MR/XR) experiences for world-class brands.