Volkswagen recently announced a new crowdsourced contest, calling on consumers to create the optimal entertainment app for the new Volkswagen infotainment system. The contest-winning app will sit within the Volkswagen dashboard entertainment system.
The winner will not only have to contribute the chief app idea, but will also have to design the user interface and program the app either in Adobe Flash or Flex. Participants who can’t develop complete apps are also welcome to submit, but the chances that they will win appear small as entries will be evaluated based on their main idea, interface design ("joy of use"), the app’s fit to the world of automotives, and the quality of implementation.
The contest, called “App My Ride”, runs through June 30th and the winner will be announced in August, courtesy of a juried selection committee.
Notably, the prizes aren’t high enough to encourage participation from top name developers (first prize is EUR 3,000 as well as a trip to take part in an international vehicle presentation, including flight and hotel), but instead geared towards Volkswagen fans and brand ambassadors. Students can even win a 6-month long internship with Volkswagen. Clearly, the contest is not about money, but love of the car and love of the car app.
The contest marks first time that an auto brand has crowdsourced product development and provides a suitable challenge to the rest of the auto industry. Previously, brands like Ford and G.E. Europe were leaders in branded social media only a few years ago – but neither has attempted anything of this magnitude. Both are still considered industry leaders, but this intrepid move by Volkswagen certainly puts them in the fast lane to overtake Ford and G.E., depending on what these brands have coming down the pipeline in coming months.
Until the dust settles on that particular race, Volkswagen’s embracement of crowdsourcing will certainly increase its visibility while impressing marketers in the process.
You can find out additional details about the “App My Ride” contest at app-my-ride.com.