Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. But if the New Zealand media was anything to go by, NZ dogs were far from friendly. Reporting of dog attacks had been on the rise, with children often the victims. This negative publicity wasn’t helping the dog adoption efforts of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), with interest in adoptions flat. Approaching the Christmas holiday season, a peak time for even more dogs to be abandoned, the SPCA needed help.
As a long standing, but little known, supporter of the SPCA, MINI wanted to help make a difference and raise its own brand profile in the process. But where to start? To make a difference MINI first needed to understand the barriers the SPCA brand faced. SPCA research confirmed they were facing a perception problem: the single biggest barrier to adoptions was the perception that dogs from shelters had behavioural problems. People think because a dog’s in a shelter, it must be damaged goods.
DraftFCB was tasked with creating a campaign that would benefit both parties –specifically:
1. Increase the number of people with a positive perception of shelter dog behaviour
2. Increase awareness of MINI’s association with the SPCA by 10%
3. Leverage the campaign to double engagement with MINI brand on Facebook (from 5% to 10%)
The insight was simple: these weren’t just dogs being asked to adopt - they were family members, and no one wants a new family member with behavioural problems. With media coverage of bad dog behaviour up nearly 50% over the last two years, it’s no wonder people were nervous.
This meant that MINI needed to convince people beyond all shadow of a doubt that shelter dogs don’t have behavioural issues and are just as trainable and intelligent as regular dogs. So DraftFCB’s strategy was to deliver an extreme, real life, display of SPCA’s dogs’ intelligence and trainability to prove they didn’t have behavioural issues. But how to do this in a way that also delivered MINI’s objectives?
The idea: Prove that SPCA dogs are smart by teaching them to drive a MINI – yes, starting the engine, releasing the brake, engaging the gear, hitting the accelerator, steering the wheels and then stopping the car again!
Sound unbelievable? The agency thought people would think the same. Dogs appear to drive cars in adverts and movies all the time so people would be naturally cynical if they just made some ads featuring driving dogs. To change perceptions they needed people tobelievewhat they were seeing. This meant that how the idea was delivered was just as important as the idea itself.
So the comms strategy was to use media to make people believe the unbelievable and to do this by staging one incredible, real life media event, told by the nation’s most credible influencer. The agency would then leverage this “can’t believe my eyes” moment, scooping people up in the anticipation beforehand and then making the event famous to change people’s perceptions.
First, the dogs. DraftFCB approached New Zealand’s #1 animal trainer and selected three SPCA shelter dogs: Monty, Porter and Ginny to undergo a world-first 8 week “doggy driving” training course. Then, the car. Hundreds of unique modifications were made to a MINI, incorporating feedback from training daily. Finally, the event itself. The agency convinced NZ’s leading news and current affairs TV show,Campbell Live, to act as hosts. First, they revealed the idea, showing training footage and instructing viewers to tune-in one week later to see the event: A world-first demonstration of shelter dogs driving a mini, broadcast live on national primetime TV!
Once this teaser show had aired, the agency used social media and PR to build anticipation and hype for the event. This targeted local and global news and social media influencers, knowing that any global coverage or endorsement would fuel more hype in New Zealand.
So people could invest in the event’s outcome, DraftFCB promoted and seeded over 800 pieces of content across 11 different digital and social platforms in just one week, wanting the nation engaged and excited! As the event neared, press, radio, TV and digital reminded people to tune-in.
Then on December 10, MINI staged SPCA Dogs actually driving on national TV.
Once the event was over, the content was seeded via video and social outreach ensured as many people as possible had the chance to see it for themselves.
In just seven days, the event was not just famous, but world famous.
- Exposed to over one billion people worldwide
- News media coverage in over 70 countries
- Over 100 million reached on Twitter
- Over 10million YouTube views
- Trending everywhere from Twitter to Huffington Post to the BBC (where it was more popular than the royal baby news!)
- Support ranging from dog guru Cesar Milan to Snoop Dogg
- The dogs even got a segment on Letterman!
Audience figures lifted a massive 50% for the live drive episode. DraftFCB smashed its objectives:
1. Changed perceptions by making people believe the unbelievable:
- People twice as likely to have overcome their perception barrier once they had seen the dogs driving
- 113% increase in number of people with a positive perception of shelter dog behaviour
2. Increased awareness of MINI’s association with SPCA:
- 40% increase (target 10%)
3. Beat Facebook engagement target for MINI brand by 1,700%
- Engagement rose from 5% to 27%
DATE:December - December 2012
H&M has gained a considerable market share in Shanghai and Beijing through an aggressive store expansion programme but today most consumers recognised H&M only as a trendy fashion brand. Consumers associate H&M with a high frequency of new clothing lines at a medium-grade price range.
David Beckham Bodywear was being introduced to the Chinese market. The range is high end and more exclusive than the standard H&M product ranges. The key challenge of this activity was to build this high-end brand image in terms of quality and pricing in the minds of consumers.
David Beckham is a massive worldwide celebrity and heartthrob for many females around the world including China. In China the association of a foreign superstar celebrity to endorse products is even more unusual and has the potential to provide instant credibility for the brand and make a unique connection with the consumers. Getting up close and personal with David Beckham is the dream of many of his fans around the world.
The strategy was to use H&M’s biggest asset - David Beckham - as the focal point of the activity. The agency wanted to leverage his personality and bring him to the centre of H&M’s world. What if Kinetic had the chance to make all of his Chinese fans dreams come true and allow them to have their photo taken with Beckham? Kinetic wanted people to become part of this story and create an emotional bond with them and so encouraged people to stand up and be counted by participating in an event. The OOH event was the vehicle to deploy a creative execution to make these dreams become a reality and social media was also used to expand the influence and build brand awareness fast.
High end premium shopping areas were selected in order to match the high-end brand positioning of David Beckham Bodywear. Based on the insight that ladies purchase underwear for their lovers, the campaign was conducted near to the H&M store to help motivate purchase and drive the sales. A huge shopping bag, sized 5m(H) and 6m (W) was built and a half-naked Beckham was featured on the bag, large enough so that all the passersby would not miss it! One side of the bag showed a poster and another a Mega LED. The agency equipped the bag with a radar sensing system and HD camera. If consumers stood in the designated area, they would realise their dream of taking a group photo with David Beckham. The photo was instantly sent to them via email or MMS and consumers were encouraged to upload this photo to Weibo and @HMChina so that they could enter a lucky draw for a surprise gift.
The campaign attracted a massive buzz in these retail shopping areas amongst passing traffic and onlookers. David Beckham Bodywear engaged with 4,999 people during the campaign period and 2,515 photos was generated and shared on Weibo. In addition to the buzz of the event, sales at the nearest H&M store doubled during the campaign period, far exceeding client expectations.
BRAND: David Beckham Bodywear
BRAND OWNER: H&M
DATE: August - September 2012
AGENCIES: Kinetic, MEC
MEDIA CHANNEL: Digital,Events,Online,Out-of-Home
The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic beacon for the VW brand, but over the years, it has increasingly been perceived as feminine. The cute, rounded design – not to mention the flower holder installed in the car – made it a “girl’s car”, and all the purchase data and conversation around it agreed. This was a problem for Volkswagen. Why? Because you might be able to sell a guy’s car to girls, but you can’t sell a girl’s car to guys. On its quest for unprecedented brand growth, Volkswagen needed men to love the Beetle.
All guys love to talk about their friends who do cool stuff. These are the guys who always have great stories and experiences. So Mediacom USA decided to make the Beetle “your cool friend” – the guy who does cool stuff you can only dream about. The agency used media to put Beetle in a place every guy wishes they could be (maybe once): swimming with sharks.
The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic beacon for the VW brand, but over the years, it has increasingly been perceived as feminine. The cute, rounded design – not to mention the flower holder installed in the car – made it a “girl’s car”, and all the purchase data and conversation around it agreed. This was a problem for Volkswagen. Why? Because you might be able to sell a guy’s car to girls, but you can’t sell a girl’s car to guys.
On its quest for unprecedented brand growth, Volkswagen needed men to love the Beetle. The brand had ‘manned up’ the car with a redesign that made the new Beetle faster, stronger, and sleeker. But while the new model may have had the right style for male buyers, the perception about the brand hadn’t changed. For the launch of the new sporty Beetle, Mediacom USA needed to develop a communications platform that would lure men back and convince them that this Beetle was for them.
All guys love to talk about their friends who do cool stuff. These are the guys who always have great stories and experiences. So the agency decided to make the Beetle “your cool friend” – the guy who does cool stuff you can only dream about. Mediacom USA used media to put Beetle in a place every guy wishes they could be (maybe once): swimming with sharks.
The Discovery Channel hosts “Shark Week” – an annual week-long series of television programming devoted entirely to sharks. Shark Week has become a cultural phenomenon and delivers guys to the network in big numbers. With the 25th anniversary of the event falling in 2012, this was expected to be the most compelling Shark Week ever.
Working with Discovery, Volkswagen engineers, and a shark photographer and his team, Mediacom USA created a fully operational underwater Beetle – a “Shark Observation Cage”. This wasn’t just a cage, but a perfect replica of the iconic car. The submersible vehicle had a structure made of tubular aluminium, a set of 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels and the Beetle’s iconic headlights. And it was equipped with a full air system and turbo packs that allowed it to drive underwater.
To drive home the impressive feat, the agency produced a compelling series of mini-episodes that chronicled the process – from design to construction to finally dropping into shark-infested waters. So in other words, the Beetle literally swam with sharks! And seeing the Beetle actually drive on the ocean floor as sharks swirled above was a spectacular sight – your ‘cool friend’ indeed.
The on-air series was created not only to showcase the spectacular footage of the Beetle underwater, but also to fully highlight this incredible engineering accomplishment. The frame and design was unmistakably Beetle, down to the last detail. The cage was only a quarter-inch off in spots from the original Beetle design, and the side-view mirrors even contained the warning that “Sharks in mirror are closer than they appear”.
The three mini-episodes aired during Shark Week programming on both TV and online, and Mediacom created teaser content for VW’s social properties to extend outside of the one week on-air event. But they didn’t stop there: VW had 100% share-of-voice on the Shark Week landing page, with high impact placements throughout Discovery’s online properties. VW also blanketed the Shark Week digital experience with brand messaging around all touch-points.
As engaged viewers watched the Beetle’s journey to the bottom of the ocean unfold, they could check out exclusive bonus Beetle Shark Cage content on a tablet co-viewing app. And to drive viewership and strengthen the connection between VW and Shark Week, Mediacom collaborated on promotional assets that included VW tagged tune-ins, out-of-home executions and print ads.
To build buzz before the programme aired, the Beetle Shark Cage was showcased at a dealer event and the Shark Week premiere party. The PR push was successful; the Beetle Shark Cage became a hotly anticipated pop culture event, with significant coverage ranging fromThe New York TimesandAdvertising Ageto prominent design, entertainment and automobile publications.
In only one world can a beetle take on a shark…and win! Brand recall, likeability and brand opinion scores all SHOT past competitive benchmarks.
Average digital engagement on the Shark Week site was 28.5 minutes, with five million views overall. The VW playlist had 350,000 views with a 65% completion rate, and over 1.8 million Facebook posts were generated about the Beetle Shark Cage!
Most importantly, Volkswagen saw an immediate and significant impact on sales: Beetle sales topped 3,000 units in August – the highest monthly total of the year!
Who was driving this jump? It was all about the guys – the percentage of sales from male buyers DOUBLED, jumping from 20% to an astonishing 40% almost overnight!
BRAND: Volkswagen Beetle
BRAND OWNER: Volkswagen Group
REGION: United States
DATE: May - August 2012
MEDIA CHANNEL: Experiential,Events,Online,TV
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