Daewoo decided to play to its strengths and steer clear of ‘fantasy’ advertising when preparing for UK launch. Its aim was to position itself as a customer-focused car maker that would appeal to a public with an ingrained suspicion of car deal

Daewoo’s intention was to enter the depressed, over-supplied car market and quickly become a mass-market brand capable of selling a wide range of cars by 1997 and to achieve a one per cent market share more quickly than any other rival.

In August 1994, Daewoo gave a number of agencies six days to pitch for its account and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters won the business. An advertisement had to be on air within six weeks – in time for the Motor Show.

The agency’s pitch to Daewoo used the argument that the company needed to be known as the most customer-focused car company in the UK.

Daewoo was starting out with a number of advantages that could be played on. It is a large company and customers needed to be convinced that it has the scale to back up its promises. It was new to the UK, so the company had no heritage of disgruntled customers to live down. And it is Asian (Korean, to be precise), which according to the agency is an advantage – the Far East is seen to be setting the pace in the car market.

Perhaps its primary point of difference from other car companies is its refusal to use a dealer network to sell its products.

Research in this area shows buyers are broadly happy with increasingly reliable, modern cars but are overwhelmingly resentful of car dealers. Daewoo was already building its own company-owned distribution network from scratch.

The car maker’s brief was: position Daewoo as the most customer-focused car company in the UK with the aim of selling a high volume rapidly.

Strategy for the run-up to the launch involved corporate credentials-building and a direct-response dialogue with motorists throughout the UK. For the brand launch the campaign would emphasise direct dealing, a hassle-free approach, peace of mind, courtesy and, of course, the cars.

Creatively, the agency opted for a straightforward, “homely” presenter-based campaign rather than one involving the “fantasy driving” sequences common to many car campaigns.

CIA bought the launch media so that the advertisements would appear across two consecutive breaks – in this way, all that was on offer would be visible. Press advertising was used to give more detailed support and further information about the cars themselves.

Figures from Millward Brown research showed that Daewoo’s image scores for “different, friendly and memorable” advertising were ahead of those predicted.

Since its launch in April, Daewoo has achieved a 1.06 per cent market share (according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders), although the company has yet to achieve full national distribution.


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