Peugeot returns to ‘more thrilling’ ads

Peugeot is shifting its marketing to portray a ‘more thrilling experience’ after admitting that the brand can be seen as less exciting than rivals such as Volkswagen.

Video: The ad to promote Peugeot’s 208 GTi

The car marque is using the 30th anniversary of the launch of its original performance hatchback, the 205 GTi, as an excuse to return to a “more fun way” of promoting its cars following the success of campaigns in the 1980s that showcased Peugeot’s design and engineering credentials.

Speaking to Marketing Week at an event last night (30 September) to mark the release of the new model, Peugeot’s UK marketing director Morgan Lecoupeur says there is a “great opportunity” to link the current 208 GTi with the first model from 1984 and shift Peugeot’s marketing to focus on the “thrilling experience” of driving one of its cars.

The TV campaign from 1984 for the 205 GTi showed a character based on James Bond evading villains chasing him across the snow in a bombardier plane and helicopter. Print ads used straplines such as “if you want something sensible buy an anorak” to show that the car “stuffed the competition”, according to UK managing director Stephane le Guevel.

The new ad updates that campaign for a modern audience, showcasing the latest technology used in the 208 GTi. A TV ad will go live tomorrow (1 October) supported by print and digital activity. There are also plans to update the ad through the rest of the year in response to events such as Christmas.

“The 30th anniversary GTi is lower, faster, quicker and more fun than the original and so we wanted to have fun promoting it just like we did in the very beginning,” says le Guevel.

While not a brand campaign, Lecoupeur hopes the ads for the 208 GTi will have a halo effect on Peugeot’s other models, helping to shift perceptions of the brand and position it at the higher end of the mass market, alongside car marques such as Volkswagen.

“What we have been doing for the last two or three years is investing more in cars that change the perception of the brand. By focusing on these models and launching massive media campaigns focused on design and driving experience we progressively move the image of the brand upmarket,” says Lecoupeur.

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