Swatch seeks agency for ‘Micro’ car launch

Swatch, famous for its plastic watches, is looking for an advertising agency to handle the launch of its new car, a joint venture with Mercedes planned for spring 1998.

Swatch and Mercedes cars have just appointed an advertising manager to co-ordinate the launch of the so-called Smart Car in spring 1998.

Betina Korn joins the joint venture, Micro Compact Car, on November 4 with a brief to find an agency by next spring.

“Creativity will be our first priority,” says head of brand marketing Detlev Krause.

“One scenario is where an independent creative shop acts as lead agency and a network then executes the work in the eight European markets we are targeting,” he adds.

German agency Springer Jacoby is believed to be in the running but the trawl for an agency is being extended to the UK as well. The 250-strong independent agency already handles part of the Mercedes account in Germany.

According to agency sources, one advertising idea being floated is to deposit cars outside train stations and airports and allow people to try out the vehicles using their credit cards to pay for the road-test.

Micro Compact Car is in talks with car leasing companies and airlines about setting up a car-pooling scheme, allowing members to access cars by using a smart card. The idea is common in California and Berlin.

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