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
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
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
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
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.
Demand for the new Beatle at Europcar has outstripped supply.