Citroën Uses AR in Facebook Marketing for C5 Aircross

Citroën is among the first of the carmakers to make a practical use of augmented reality (AR) by using it as a marketing tool.

The French car brand is promoting its new Citroën C5 Aircross SUV in its domestic market  by creating an augmented-reality vehicle configurator on the Facebook Messenger, so that potential customers can personalize the car including the body color, roof color, interiors and wheels. The move builds on the brand’s social media approach which began in 2015 when it became the first French carmaker to use Facebook Immersive Canvas technology with Citroën e-Mehari and again in 2016 with Citroën C3.

The configurator is accessible on smartphone via the Facebook Messenger app  which activates the user’s smartphone camera, providing a 360° view of both the exterior and interior of C5 the car in the setting of their choice. The AR technology showcases the Shine version offering up to 540 possible customization combinations. On finishing a unique code is generated in the event idle curiosity turns into potential customer desire to take the discussion further along the sales funnel.

Laurence Hansen, marketing director, Citroën France, said: “It is essential to us to bring new and ever more innovative experiences to the users engaging in our Brand in the social networks. In addition to the innovation and [viral potential] of the initiative, it is a real drive-to-store resource aimed at boosting test drives of the vehicle at our dealerships.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


  1. Avatar ObservaTOR 29th January 2019 @ 7:08 am

    Citroën C5 Aircross SUV – no 4×4, even as an option 🙁
    This is not true SUV 🙁 This is normal car with higher suspension only.
    (sport utility vehicle for cities only).

  2. TU-Editor TU-Editor 29th January 2019 @ 8:26 am

    It is true that both the traditional ICE options of gasoline and diesel do not offer 4×4 but the plug-in hybrid will have all-wheel-drive.
    That said, all models have the option of PSA’s grip system with modes for standard, sand, snow, off-road and ESP off for a more sporting drive. I have tested this system with snow tyres driving over the Jura Mountains in March and can vouch for it having more grip than a 4×4 with all-season tyres! With this in mind, I think SUV is a reasonable claim for the car.

    • Avatar Mr. Hansen 29th January 2019 @ 9:27 pm

      I think this is a misunderstanding. C5 Aircross PHEV will be available with 4WD only for the Chinese market but sorry only as 2WD for Europe. PSA’s 4WD concept use two electrical motors – in the front and back respectively, while Citroen C5’s Hybrid concept for Europe included only one single electric motor in the front for 2WD.

      That C5 Aircross apparantly has not been included in the “PSA Hybrid4 club” just like Peugeot 3008 GT Hybrid4, DS 7 Crossback E-Sense and Opel Grandland X PHEV, is both incomprehensible and disappointing. Also the Citroen C5 Aircross potential customers do need a real SUV with 4WD, not at least during winter, Nordic and off-road similar conditions.

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