4 new cars unveiled on Meerkat and Periscope at New York's auto show

The 10 day-long New York International Auto  Show officially shifts into gear today, but automakers are already at full speed on live-streaming darlings Meerkat and Periscope.

The jury might still be out on which platform will ultimately prevail, but these brands — including Jaguar, Toyota, Mercedes and Nissan — wasted no time starting accounts on to reveal their latest models ahead of the official kickoff.

Here’s a look into what they unveiled to their Meerkat and Periscope followers.


The Daimler AG-engineered smart car launched its new two-seater with an hour-and-a-half long live-streamed extravaganza on Tuesday evening from New York’s Meatpacking District. In addition to the invite-only crowd at the event, the brand introduced the new car to “over a hundred people” who streamed the show on Meerkat. A second stream documented behind-the-scenes moments and featured an interview with smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler. Viewers were also able to comment on the activity and get their questions answered on the spot.

“Meerkat was a better fit for us since it aligns so well with our brand,” said Eric Angeloro, smart’s brand management supervisor. “It was a disruptive pioneer for social live-streaming, just like we have been for smart cars.”


On Tuesday evening, Jaguar unveiled its new XF sedan with a display that made the vehicle appear as if it was floating — to highlight the fact that the vehicle is 300 pounds lighter than competitors. It used Periscope to reveal the new car to hundreds of others scattered around the world who weren’t at the Flatiron District venue.


Nissan went in favor of Periscope to live-stream the unveiling of its new Maxima model Thursday morning. The broadcast was preceded by several tweets alerting fans to the press conference. Those who tuned in were also given a virtual real-time tour of the interior of the new car.

“Periscope allows us to bring the excitement of the New York Auto Show and our new Maxima reveal to Nissan fans in real time,” said Roel de Vries, corporate vp and global head of marketing and brand strategy for Nissan. “In conjunction with Twitter, this is a highly engaging way to share our brand experience with consumers around the world.”


Toyota wasn’t sure which platform its fans preferred, so it live-streamed the launch of its new RAV4 Hybrid on both Meerkat and Periscope.

“Toyota is consistently looking for innovative and authentic ways for connecting and communicating with our guests,” said Monica Peterson, Toyota’s Director of social media strategy and operation. “Our ability to instantly live-stream from the New York Auto Show puts instant access literally into our guests’ hands. That’s a really powerful opportunity and one that we felt we needed to explore.”

Toyota introduced a second digital campaign around the auto show: a digital experience that invites users to create a symphony out of GIFs (or, as they’re calling it, a “Gifony”), comprising sounds from the car supplied by Toyota. The drilling of car doors, for example, make for a thumping bass, sheets of steel being stamped into parts make for passable drums.