Endurance Advertising: Peugeot’s Click-and-Hold Online Car Game

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Advertising as punishment—it's all the rage these days. Crispin Porter + Bogusky is making people sit and stare endlessly, arduously, at a spinning Whopper over on DirecTV. (Swiss Chalet previously did something similar with rotisserie chicken in Canada.) And now, from Sweden, we get an online version from agency Volt Stockholm. Visitors to a special Peugeot website were challenged to click and hold their mouse button on a car they wanted—and the person who held on the longest got to drive it for a week. To get people even more riled up, they rigged up the site to show thumbnails of the people you were competing against. You couldn't just tape down the mouse button, either—you had to enter keyboard prompts now and again. According to the case study video, these showdowns lasted up to 15 hours. Diminishing returns at that point, you would think. The whole thing is reminiscent of Hands on a Hard Body, the great 1997 documentary about a Texas contest where people have to keep a hand on a (non-virtual) pickup truck for the longest amount of time to win it. (That's better than driving it for a week, but the Texas contest goes on for days.) People just love a good endurance challenge, apparently. I'll stick with the auto loan. 

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.