Client: London Taxis International; Peter Wildgoose, sales and
Campaign: Launch of the TX1 Taxi
Agency: Craik Jones
Timescale: July to November 1997
Budget: Over pounds 500,000
The world-famous London taxi took shape in 1959 when a company called
Carbodies launched its FX4 model. The company became London Taxis
International (LTI) in 1973 and the basic design has remained unchanged
- until now.
LTI has just invested pounds 20m developing the new TX1 model which it
believes retains the appeal of the old design, with a number of design
advances, including easier access, more comfort for the driver, and
extras including air-conditioning to points for mobile phones.
While many cabbies would be glad to see the back of the old model, they
were likely to resist change and be hard to please. The firm appointed
Craik Jones with a brief to manage the communication with the nation’s
30,000 black-cab drivers, the dealers, suppliers and the public.
Craik Jones devised an integrated strategy around the unveiling of the
TX1 at the London Motor Show in October.
Having developed a database of cab owners via dealers and meter
registration, it set out to communicate with this audience in a direct
and intimate way.
The cabbies were sent a mailing confirming the launch of the TX1 along
with its product benefits, and were subsequently invited to the Motor
Show or one of eight other events around the UK to see the new
The invitation was supported by advertising in the trade press and on
Craik Jones also ran PR initiatives, including targeted press releases,
a photo-call with actress Joanna Lumley and another with transport
minister Glenda Jackson at the Motor Show.
As cabbies visited the events they were encouraged to give their
details, enabling more mailings and test-drive opportunities.
Craik Jones achieved an average response rate of 25% for the events,
while the Motor Show generated 2000 qualified leads.
LTI reports a ’healthy’ advanced order book and believes it will
increase its sales from its present 3000 taxis a year to over 9000 by