Scion Starts Pre-Launch Campaign

DETROIT Scion has launched a comprehensive pre-launch campaign for the 2008 xB, including a Web site at which patrons can earn points in quest of a new xB, among other prizes.

The site, at, hits two months in advance of the release of the boxy car, which was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month.

Consumers can score points for watching videos, playing games and by e-mailing aspects of the site to others, earning their way to the car and other prizes that include a plasma screen TV, DJ tables, a home theater system and an Xbox system.

The campaign, via Attik, San Francisco, has trickled out virally over the past several days. The car will begin showing up in dealerships in late April.

The home page opens onto a series of six microsites, each with a different theme. One deals with customization, another community and still another music. Each microsite has a different physical design, with one resembling a Monty Python set while another has a stark, haunted house look. Two more microsites are to be added in the coming weeks.

Embedded in the microsites are 10 games (via gaming services group Bunchball of Redwood City, Calif.), and 18 movies that run between three and five minutes. Some of the movies are colorfully animated, others feature live actors speaking in Japanese with English subtitles. Among the games are a boxing contest and a roadkill dodging drive. Clickable, animated xBs creep through the scenes, some leading to the site.

“The xB will have a subtle but constant presence inside this virtual world,” Mark Templin, Scion vp, said in a statement. “Animated versions of the xB will be organically integrated into the content and some games will creatively use xBs in the gameplay.”

A 60-second trailer, “Surgery,” also is being launched in movie theaters. The short video is a Frankenstein takeoff in which two of three subjects, post-operative, are revealed to have square heads. A third subject comes out with a round head to horrific response in the operating room. He is put back under wraps.