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You control Volkswagen’s new ad with silly car noises

The 2015 VW Golf R.The 2015 VW Golf R.
The 2015 VW Golf R.Courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Volkswagen has launched a marketing campaign for its new Golf R by letting you control the car — with your voice.

Using a type of artificial intelligence “Deep Learning” technology, the ads analyze viewers’ unique vocal sounds, pairing them with matching clips from a pool of hundreds of Volkswagen car videos. If you make the sound of a car tearing down a straight, you’ll find a Golf R doing the same. If you make a screeching sound that wakes up your cat, a clip of a car bending around a curve comes up.

The result? Your own customized “Unleash Your Rrrr” voice-controlled ad, as this video featuring the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” Michael Winslow shows:

“The idea behind the Golf R ‘Unleash Your Rrrr’ was simple – imagination. As children, we’ve all played with toy cars, and the power of our imaginations allowed us to turn rugs into expressways and wooden floors into slick racetracks. Our voice would act as the engine. Fast forward to today where we now have the power of technology to enhance our imagination, and to visualize the power of our voice,” Vinay Shahani, vice-president of marketing for Volkswagen of America, said in a press release.

The stunts in the videos are performed by professional driver Tanner Foust, and he also gets in on the voice-action (while he watches himself do all the driving):

The Golf R is billed as the most powerful of VW’s Golf family of vehicles, which have garnered numerous awards and accolades for VW. The company will also be hoping the launch will give the Golf lineup more traction in the US, where sales have accounted for just 9% of overall revenues, according to VW’s latest report.