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’
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.
PR Team: Kazoo
Campaign: Launch of Aprilia Scooters
Timescale: January to June 1999