Peugeot takes 107 to journalists’ doorsteps

Peugeot had a dilemma with the launch of its ‘supermini’, the Peugeot 107. The car was part of a joint venture with Citroën and Toyota, but was due to be introduced in the UK just weeks after these other brands.

Campaign Launch of the Peugeot 107 Client Peugeot PR team In-house and LawsonClarke Timescale June 2005 Budget Less than £10,000 

Peugeot feared that jaded motoring journalists would think 'same car, different badge' and not attend a launch event.

It brought in LawsonClarke to gain maximum impact for the new model.

To successfully launch the Peugeot 107 to consumer and trade motoring press in a way that would grab their attention. To ensure adoption equalled that for a more conventional launch.

Strategy and Plan
LawsonClarke decided to turn the traditional car launch on its head. Instead of inviting journalists to a central venue, it planned to bring the car to them by visiting their homes and places of work.

It sent 'invites' to journalists, asking them to nominate a good time for the visit, while the in-house and consultancy teams divided the UK into five regions, targeting mainly trade and regional journalists. Covering 6,675 miles in five days, they visited 112 journalists, giving them a test drive and a detailed introduction to the product. If needed, follow-up interviews were organised with Peugeot's fleet director, while some national journalists were approached as a relationship-building exercise.

LawsonClarke also set out to raise money for charity Women On The Move Against Cancer (WOMAC) by asking journalists to contribute in return for Peugeot giving £10 per road test.

Measurement and Evaluation
The initiative gained positive press coverage in a wide range of regional papers, including The Irish News, Aberdeen Press & Journal, The Scotsman, Manchester Evening News, The Yorkshire Post, Derby Evening Telegraph, Sheffield Star, Oxford Mail, and Western Daily Press. Trade magazines AM, Fleet News and Motor Trader also covered the launch.

Peugeot reports that the 107 is outselling its Citroën and Toyota equivalents, while £1,900 was raised for WOMAC. Journalists seemed to like the originality and effort behind the launch, with one even putting on lunch for the PR teams and another baking a cake. 

Freelance journalist Robin Roberts, who wrote an article about the 107 for syndication service Driving Force, says:  'We have to try and cover so many new car events that it's difficult to get to all the locations. This was a good bit of lateral thinking that worked well because it was arranged exactly to suit us.'

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