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Smart move from Google to show off its capabilities and educate on possible future of advertising and branded content, but use of Google+ login? Ugh.
The ‘adverapp’ Google has created to kick off this project is called “Smileage,” and it’s a Volkswagen-branded Android app. It incorporates themes from Volkswagen’s 2012 advertising campaign, and acts as a trip journal that measures things like weather, traffic, location, distance, social interaction and more to create an automatic, live interactive map of your road trip. The app is powered by Google+’s new sign-in capabilities, and can aggregate photos and videos taken by you and your fellow road-trippers to add them to map. Smileage works with any car, not just VWs.
Something like Smileage might just do the trick. It’s part service content, part tool and part advertising, in a standalone destination. The point is to create something that users will want to go to independently.