AKQA continued to impress in 2009, with zippy work for Miracle Whip, a mobile launch for Volkswagen's 2010 GTI and an online game for "Sherlock Homes." But perhaps the most groundbreaking work was Fiat's eco:Drive
application. Fiat cars have USB ports that enable the transfer of music files to a car's computer. But the AKQA team realized it also allowed the transfer of data.
The agency's co-founder/CCO James Hilton, who led the project in Europe, said it became apparent during test drives how much sub-standard driving can affect gas mileage. He and his team developed the eco:Drive app to rate a driver's braking, acceleration and other elements into an overall eco-safe driving score. Drivers insert their USB key into the car, drive, install the USB into a PC and get the trip rated. They can eye progress made over time, and even set goals.
Agency CCO Rei Inamoto noted marketers, for the most part, haven't figured out how to use social media in a way that fits their brand and is useful to consumers. His advice: "[Create] a product or tool for a brand that provides value to the consumer separate from the products that the clients make."