Traditional promotion methods did not match smart’s urban, environmentally-conscious lifestyle brand image that questions the status quo in a self-assured and unconventional way. With this launch, we used digital platforms to create new places where Chinese consumers could interact with the smart brand. The goal was to develop a holistic and integrated campaign that would instil a sense of empowerment among consumers, provide a platform for them to interpret what smart represents, and make educated purchasing decisions.
We used Internet and mobile platforms to introduce smart to target customers in China, creating connections with a new generation of Chinese consumers, and demonstrating smart’s values of innovation, functionality and joy of living. We also utilized offline platforms to sustain and solidify awareness of the brand and further communicate the smart car specifications and uniqueness, and used physical and real-life interactions with consumers to bring the smart cars to life. The pre- launch phase began nearly six months prior to smart’s formal introduction into China. Digital media dominated the campaign, which aimed to create awareness of smart, communicate its key value propositions, drive buzz and interest, attract pre-launch orders, and sustain momentum until the formal launch.
Results for the six month pre-launch period exceeded expectations with orders reaching half of the company’s overall annual target before the cars were even available.
The digital focus of the campaign – with remarkable results – set new standards in how to effectively engage consumers and provided a wakeup call to all companies that the Internet Age had arrived in China.