Race Your Heart Out


Race Your Heart Out

An award-winning digital and social campaign for Acura’s winter sales event.


Razorfish meet Acura

Acura teamed up with Razorfish to reinvent a holiday tradition and launch the first ever, multi-broadcast social event, allowing a new audience to experience the exhilaration of driving an Acura TLX on Periscope.

Tapping into the holiday nostalgia of the Gen X and Millennial demographics, Acura drove awareness of its Winter Sales Event by complementing the “Oh What Fun it is to Drive” TV spot and drawing on the emotional connection to the classic slot cars holiday gift.


Race Your Heart Out — The First-Ever Periscope Powered Race

A socially driven live slot car race powered by Twitter’s Periscope.

Participants of the live event controlled acceleration remotely with their smart phones by pressing the Periscope “heart” button to power the racing Acura TLXs around the track. Ryan Eversley, Acura factory racecar driver, served as part of the event’s commentary team and, in spirit of the holidays, Acura donated race winnings to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.


And how it was done…

With a bit of smoke and mirrors, I created a web app with socket.io and an express server that would communicate to the web overlays what should be viewed. For example, should the HUD be on or off for Car A? When a race is over show the leader board on both cars. Update all the HUD display properties: hearts per hour, number of laps made, elapsed time, etc. The web browser would capture the video of the car, and a device would capture the screen (in this case a MBP) and stream that composite to Periscope!

The Tech

Loading up the toolbox

Since there was no need to support multiple browsers, I recommended chrome. Socket.io was used to communicate to the apps. On the server-side, NodeJS and Express were used. SCSS was used for styling up the huds and HTML5 for grabbing the video from the computer.

Discovery & Pride

One thing the team and I knew we had to account for was the number of hearts being clicked for speed. Creating real-time averages of hearts per X time and then using that as the basis for speed. There were a few times the car went from zero to superspeed resulting in flying of the track! Even planning for this was a challenge when working with real-time data.


One of my all time favorite projects. Short timeline, a few smart folks, a one-off, arduino, helping a charity – A dream project.
This project was very well received.

Increase in engagement


Hearts per hour




The purse for each race was worth a $500 donation to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Two hours and twenty races later, we had generated over 120,000 hearts and raised $10,000. In total, users watched 75 hours worth of races and Acura branded content increasing Acura’s engagement on Periscope by 190%.


2016 Cannes Lions
Silver Lion – Mobile

2016 Smarties Awards
Gold – Gold > Marketing within a Mobile Gaming Environment

2016 National Addy Awards
Gold – Social Media

2016 National Addy Awards
Silver – Online/Interactive

2016 One Show Awards
Merit – Mobile > Branded Games
Merit – Mobile > Durable Goods
Merit – Social Media

2016 Webby Awards
Honoree – Experimental & Innovation
Honoree – Best Use of Mobile Media
Honoree – Best Use of Video

2016 Shorty Awards
Finalist – Emerging Platform