"The supermini segment is cluttered and the car required a unique positioning within this crowded market," says Louise Mercier, direct marketing manager at Vauxhall.
Vauxhall used a combination of cold data and data already collected from its customers to target predominantly women with a mail pack and email campaign.
The mail pack went out to owners of other supermini classified cars that might be considering a replacement. "Our strategy was wide reaching and well targeted, aiming to build awareness before the official launch," says Mercier.
The creative behind the launch campaign was branded 'Flex in the City'. It was designed to appeal to city women who wanted a small car, with five doors rather than three, and a stylish design. It was supported with press and outdoor activity, as well as an interactive microsite and online advertising.
Mercier says: "What was unusual about this campaign was that the new Agila was completely different to the old model. When you look at it, nothing about this car echoes the style or features of the old version. This meant we truly were starting over in terms of positioning the car to a new market. On a functional level, however, we knew it could also appeal to the current Agila customers."
Mail packs were sent out to 293,000 Vauxhall customers and prospects in two stages. The first phase invited the recipient to a preview of the car at their local dealer. Once they had done this they were sent a coupon offering them the chance to win one of two new Agilas.
An email was sent to 353,000 cold prospects, aiming to raise awareness of the brand, inviting them to preview the car and also collect data from any responses.
"An integrated approach is essential, especially for the launch of a car that the public are unaware of," says Mercier.
"We treated both the email and the direct mail pack as awareness-generating tools, rather than using one as a follow-up to the other."
Both the email and mail pack achieved the objective of driving people to dealers to preview the car with more than 1,000 people responding to the campaign. There was a full data-capture element to the email and mail pack to ensure prospects were gathered for follow-up activity.
Mercier says the next stage will be even more tightly targeted. "The follow-up will have a strong, rational sales message to convert the prospects already captured."
Vauxhall will look to contact responders at a later date with a new direct mail pack, as this channel has proved a strong conversion method for the car maker.
Brand: Vauxhall Agila
Brief: To promote the launch of the Agila model
Target audience: Independent, busy and style-conscious females
Agency: Draftfcb London
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