CAMPAIGNS: Freewheelin rallies Beatle for Europcar - Consumer PR

Client: Europcar

PR Team: Freewheelin

Campaign: Launch of www.europcar-weekender.co.uk

Timescale: May - June

Budget: Less than pounds 50,000



Having focused much of its existing car rental business in corporate

contracts, Europcar wanted to revitalise its profile in the consumer

sector.



Objectives



To raise brand awareness for Europcar, to position car rental as a

leisure pursuit rather than a necessity for business and to ultimately

create consumer demand.



Strategy and Plan



Guerilla marketing specialist Freewheelin was brought in to organise a

rally of Beatle cars as a promotional initiative.



Freewheelin was assisted by Dutch PR agency Blueberry Frog. Jeff

Boardman, Freewheelin creative director, said that the fact that Beetle

owners traditionally name their cars formed the basis of the

campaign.



Using 1970s retro as a theme, 50 new VW Beetles were given names and

personalities that encouraged consumers to 'saddle up with Clint' and

check out 'Amber - a real hot rock chick', giving the cars added

appeal.



Supplemented by a micro-site, fly-posters and greeting cards, the

campaign established a league of Beatle fans.



On the day of the launch a rally was organised in which journalists

participated in driving the cars in convoy from London to Brighton,

stopping at Lambeth Bridge for a photoshoot and again at the Grand Hotel

in Brighton.



Beetle fans are able to go to the website at

www.europcar-weekender.co.uk and order their favourite car by name.



Measurement and Evaluation



With journalists directly involved in the rally, coverage was pretty

much guaranteed. Most of the lifestyle magazines covered the event

including Time Out, Mixmag, FHM, Travel Weekly, The Sunday Times' Style

section and The Independent.



Though statistics are as yet unknown, Europcar spokespeople say that

website traffic has increased significantly.



Results



Demand for the new Beatle at Europcar has outstripped supply.



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