To be honest I thought it was hard to beat the American Idol house parties Ford organized in U.S to push people to test drive their cars, but I must admit Europeans can indeed do it better. In 2008 the car brand Dodge wanted to introduce three different models in Belgian market, but it was facing a very competitive and challenging market. With a quite low brand awareness in the country, Dodge could not just place their new models in the showroom and expect people to come, test drive and buy the cars nor it could invest in a highly expensive (and not so effective to be honest) broadcast television commercials to boost the sales. It was obvious that if people were not coming to the dealers, the car had to be taken to the people.
What to do?
The agency Proximity BBDO came up with a very interesting test-driving concept: Car Bungee-Jump. The brand Dodge organized a 10 city tour in Belgium and dared people to have a 50-meter bungee jump in a new Dodge Viper. Inside the car were cameras filming people’s reactions (most of the people were screaming) and these videos were then edited, posted on the campaign website and made shareable.
And yes, it worked:
- These buzz creating test-drives drove over 10,000 people for one of the stops
- The test-drive videos generated over 50,000 views on YouTube and GarageTV
- Site traffic increased, with over 35,000 unique visitors
- 10% of site visitors opted in, 5% requested more information and 1% visited a showroom & test-drove the car
All this without a single ad, TV-commercial or direct mail.
What makes this great is that even if the organization of Car-bungee jump, website and pushing the videos viral might have its cost for sure, it could never be as expensive as Ford’s campaigns and sponsorship with a cost of millions. The great thing about Social Media is that if you have a great concept that can go viral, it will not cost you an arm and a leg. Depending on your budget, combining the viral concept with strong online campaign can boost the brand awareness and increase the effectiveness of your strategy. Just come up with something new and exciting that integrates online and real world and gets people out of their houses. And of course, do not forget to cover your back with strong legal bases. Come on, stop being boring and take advantage of the possibilities a real online buzz can create.
See the Dodge Car Bungee Jump video here.