Peugeot makes social, not TV, its primary focus

Fresh from becoming the first UK automotive brand to use Twitter’s Flock to Unlock (F2U) feature for a digital competition, Peugeot’s digital and social media manager Zoe Macleay says the brand is making social its primary focus over television as “that’s where our customers are going”.

The F2U advertising mechanic allows brands to use Twitter to generate viral buzz for competition through hidden clues. Peugeot used it to offer consumers the chance to win its new 208 car in a campaign designed by 33Seconds.

It achieved this by hiding the car at a secret location in the UK and asking the public to track down the car by tweeting a hashtag to unlock a video clue, which starred vlogger Ben Philips and Peugeot UK’s official ERC rally driver Chris Ingram (both pictured).

Macleay told Marketing Week: “We saw Marvel do something similar allowing fans to unlock the trailer for the new Avengers movie and thought it would be an excellent chance to target Generation Y.”

The competition, according to Macleay, saw over 6,000 entries and was seen by more than 17 million people.

She says Peugeot is standing out among car brands as it is placing its focus on interactive digital campaigns and moving away from primarily focusing on “samey TV ads aimed at middle aged men”.

Macleay added: “As a car manufacturer, I think you miss a trick if you don’t focus on digital now as that’s where all the consumers are moving. TV is a strong medium for our marketing but it is now secondary to digital and online.”

Having used Vine and Facebook star Ben Philips for the campaign, Macleay also revealed that viral influencers and vloggers would be key for future campaigns.

“From Ben’s success we are definitely open to working with more content creators and social media influencers, I think it is all about making sure we appeal to the widest possible audience.

“All automotive brands seem to target that aspirational middle aged man and it can get samey. We want to be disruptive and get younger people interested in cars. Achieving this through innovative campaigns on social media means we are advertising Peugeot in a new way.”

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  • Peter Cunningham 24 Jun 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Social in the automotive industry is an interesting challenge. Cars are definitely something many people are passionate about and love to share opinions, photos and stories about. But as a considered and expensive purchase no-one is going to get the credit card out and buy a car on social just there and then (even if your credit card can stretch that far!).

    Here Peugeot is using social as an awareness tool with competitions to find a car, but actually there is scope to do much more and get social to fill the top of the sales funnel. Smart ways to do this involve using concepts like co-creation, gamification and communal targets to get people to want test drive cars maybe in extreme conditions, compare reviews with friends, beat the clock etc.

    The difference involves trying to engage likely buyers and get them to start talking with the dealers rather than engaging 65m Britons with the chance to win a car with the hope that there are some car buyers among those who respond.

    But great to see Peugeot being innovative instead of making another car commercial about a car driving smoothly along a windy sea side road with a breath taking backdrop of cliffs and crashing waves – yawn!

  • Chloe 10 Jul 2015 at 9:31 am

    Really interesting concept, making people participate to the web traffic and increase the visibility of the brand through Social Media (SEO).. Did we get any feedbacks on how the competion went yet?

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