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BTS: Not just any other car ad…

Jane Hovey, Director of Communications Strategy, Vivaldi UK on the strategy and activation of their ‘Not every other car’ ad for the launch of the Sandero

‘So we need to make a car ad, one small issue - we haven’t actually got the car!’

This was the challenge we faced in creating an ad for the new Sandero. So how do you go about increasing desire for a car before it becomes available? The solution we arrived at involved challenging the very status quo of traditional car ads. At a time of entirely changed lives and lifestyles, subverting the genre would prove a most effective strategy.

Redressing the perception

Sandero is seen as the most affordable new car in the UK - this isn’t wrong but can provide a misconception that affordable means cheap and lacking in quality. With the launch of the two types of all new Sandero came the vital opportunity to redress this perception, to market the car as a smart choice, not a compromise. Vivaldi’s job is to drive desire for the car and talkability before it is even available. People can preorder it, but really our job is to get it in peoples’ minds so we can retarget with sales ads when it is here.

The audience we defined as needing to reach are ‘Gen X Maximisers’. At Vivaldi we start with the audience and their lifestyles in building out solutions. In this audiences’ case, they are smart, pragmatic and not afraid to go against the grain. They proactively balance things to make the most out of necessities so they can make the most of luxuries. A mindset that is growing in a post covid world, where people are more aware of balancing frugality and the need for mood lifting treats.

They don’t want to be sold a lifestyle

We know this audience are champions of the self deprecating wisecrack they feel they “see through the crap”, raising a wry, humorous eyebrow at politicians, the media and brands when their intelligence is being underestimated. Cars to them are not status symbols - they don’t want to be sold a lifestyle. They want to be viewed as smart and independently minded. However the focus of category launches celebrate a cool youthful diverse city lifestyle. Frequently, with an eye to the future and progress. Peugeots “unboring the future” ad was as distinct as the car. But these funky young ads don’t really depict the real buyers, or our independent Maximisers lives. Selling a lifestyle they don’t aspire to. Our audience enjoys all the entertainment a city has to offer, music, comedy, film, restaurants and travel but are NOT millennials or gen z. Most likely they live in the suburbs or town are stable in their careers but more importantly confident in their tastes not constantly seeking the new just more of, maybe slightly enhanced versions of what they already love.

So in response, Dacia have created a car actually focused on what is important, that meets real peoples needs. This time it’s a new version of their much loved small cars - ideal for nipping around town and getting on with life. The new Sandero and Sandero Stepway are affordable to buy and run, roomy, have a fresh contemporary bold design inside and out, with updated tech as well as being straightforward to operate. They might be the new kid on the block but they are not into new for new’s sake. They are not trying to be hip and trendy like other cars in this segment, they they have the new things that really matter to a driver who just wants a car to drive not a status symbol of youthful energy.

The activation - familiar yet different

So very much in keeping with the ‘no nonsense’ purpose of the car we built out the idea for the ad. Driven by the need to position the distinctive proposition and the reality of not yet having the car, we decided to turn the concept on its head, challenging the status quo of car ads that don’t actually represent their audience. In focusing in on recognisable stereotypes of car ads we wanted the audience to question the genre and of course think about what they wanted in a car. We are confident this pragmatic ad sending up others will help to focus minds on what counts and what this ad delivers. At first glance the ad is recognisable as a car ad drawing the viewer in to the roller skater and DJ - before the realisation comes that it is subverting the genre.

We also created this digital video campaign as a digital video, social-first with talkability baked in but also a form that can appear across the internet on publishing sites. It is an underrated platform and by viewing this ad on a small screen it again helped to highlight the point of difference with the brand and positioning it as truly subverting the genre.

The results speak for themselves…. It’s not just any other car ad.

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