CAMPAIGNS: Freewheelin rallies Beatle for Europcar - Consumer PR

Client: Europcar

PR Team: Freewheelin

Campaign: Launch of

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

in Brighton.

Beetle fans are able to go to the website at 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.

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