Cannes Lions

Acura: "What a Race"

MULLENLOWE U.S., Los Angeles / ACURA / 2018

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The 2018 Acura TLX comes with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), one of the best all-wheel-drive systems on the planet. The story of SH-AWD is as challenging to tell as the technology is to describe. What it all comes down to is that it makes for a better driving experience, no matter the circumstances and environment. To tell that story, we wanted to combine the precise nature of SH-AWD with the unpredictable nature of an ever-changing racecourse, one where regular drivers got to drive the car in a race consisting of three totally different and uniquely challenging environments.

Through AR, we transformed a marine base into three unique worlds: an ice world, a jungle world, and a lava world, each home to a lap in the race. The race was broadcast as an interactive livestream, and fans could help their favorite driver by clearing out obstacles and opening up shortcuts.


At the time of production, no existing AR headset could do what we wanted it to do for the race, so we constructed a completely custom AR display inside a helmet, tracking the position of the driver’s head inside the car with gyroscopes and the position of the vehicle with ABS and GPS data.

A typical AR experience is meant for a single user, but in this event, we applied AR graphics to multiple camera angles, enabling thousands of viewers at home to see both the first-person perspective of each driver and several exterior angles showing the car racing through the AR environments.

The race consisted of three unique levels, each inspired by real-world locations and with heavy influence from gaming concepts, including elements such as obstacles, bonus objects, and penalty seconds.


More than 9.7MM reached on Facebook, 1.5MM of those reached organically.

Nearly 3.34MM impressions on Twitter.

More than 200K reactions, comments, and shares.

More than 2.6MM views across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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