Is eco:Drive too much of a Nike Plus clone?

By Brian Morrissey

It was two years ago that Nike Plus took Cannes by storm, winning the Titanium Lion. Since then, it has remained the No. 1 example in any presentation of how brands can create value and loyalty through utility. Yet there have been few examples of a "new Nike Plus" coming from other brands. A notable exception is Fiat's eco:Drive, crafted with AKQA. eco:Drive is a system that lets drivers track their fuel consumption and driving habits with the idea that they can use the data to leave a smaller carbon footprint. eco:Drive has done well in at award shows, picking up the top prize at The One Show Interactive and a gold Clio. But in an industry that prizes orginality, will eco:Drive be deemed to much of a Nike Plus imitator? They certainly share similarities. Like Nike Plus, eco:Drive is integrated with the product and based on a data platform. Nike Plus aims to help users improve their running; eco:Drive wants to improve driving efficiency. Nike Plus links into an online community where members can challenge each other and compare training. eco:Drive links into an online community where drivers can compare themselves. There's no doubt both are great examples of new types of brand building using digital technology. It will be interesting to see if the old rules of advertising apply in such a new area.