CAMPAIGNS: The fast lane to scooter success - Product Launch

The UK scooter market is experiencing a boom. Last year the market grew 79 per cent on 1997 and sales are rising again this year.

The UK scooter market is experiencing a boom. Last year the market

grew 79 per cent on 1997 and sales are rising again this year.

One Italian scooter manufacturer, Aprilia, was launching a new range of

scooters in the UK in January. Aprilia has an impressive racing bike

pedigree, but in the consumer arena the brand was relatively low


With its new range including models like the ’Area 51’ and the ’Habana

Custom 50’, Aprilia appointed Kazoo to work on a six-month project

promoting the brand in the UK. This followed on from work the agency did

during Aprilia’s sponsorship of the European leg of the Spice Girls’

World Tour.


To build the Aprilia brand by creating broad media and consumer

awareness among men and women aged between 16 and 30.

Strategy and Plan

One factor about the Aprilia brand which distinguishes it from rival

brands is the link between the scooters and Aprilia’s motorbike


By underlining this pedigree, Aprilia could be positioned as the choice

for selective customers and seen as a premium brand. Therefore the media

relations campaign focused on the scooter’s performance, reliability and


A second strand of the strategy was to educate the media and the public

about the accessibility and low cost of scooters, and the fact that they

are easy to ride.

A mix of editorial, promotional and marketing tactics were planned to

generate coverage across all media.

Kazoo set up a designated press fleet and transport service to ensure

that journalists could have a scooter delivered with only six hours


An important element was targeting different scooters in the range to

different media, depending on demographics. For example, style-bible

Wallpaper was the first magazine targeted with the Habana Custom, a bike

with a retro design for the very style-conscious. The aim was to create

word-of-mouth hype through the leading style press.

Then in February, consumer journalists were invited on a press trip to

Lisbon for the launch of a new model. This was timed so that coverage

would appear in the crucial summer months.

DJ Chris Evans, a well-known scooter owner, was given an Area 51 scooter

after having given his Italjet to charity. The Virgin Breakfast Show and

the Big Breakfast both featured Aprilias as part of promotions. The Big

Breakfast offered an Aprilia as a prize in its ’Get Fruity’ competition

which was co-promoted with the Sun. Both promotions resulted in

on-screen exposure for the scooters.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign has generated some good media coverage, such as pieces in

men’s magazines FHM, Maxim, Stuff and GQ. National newspaper coverage

featured in the Independent, the Times and the Daily Telegraph.

The campaign was targeted at the women’s media, although some titles are

still reluctant to cover scooters. However Cosmopolitan featured a panel

on the Habana Custom in its May issue.

Sales of Aprilia scooters are up 100 per cent on the corresponding

period in 1998.


The profile of scooters in general has risen greatly over the last

couple of years, and it has paid off for Aprilia to run a dedicated PR

campaign to ensure it wins more than its fair share of coverage.

Kazoo has now been retained to work for Aprilia on an ongoing basis.

Client: Aprilia

PR Team: Kazoo

Campaign: Launch of Aprilia Scooters

Timescale: January to June 1999

Budget: undisclosed

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