Chevrolet Promo, Case study WIN AN AIR FRESHENER FROM CONAN by Starcom Chicago

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Starcom Chicago
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: CHEVROLET
Product/Service: CRUZE
Date of First Appearance: Nov 16 2010
Entrant Company: STARCOM USA, Chicago, USA
: Mike Rosen (Starcom USA)
: Ethan Chamberlin (Starcom USA)
: Michele Johnson (Starcom USA)
: Abbey Berryman (Starcom USA)
: Priya Velji (Starcom USA)
: Anand Thakur (Starcom USA)
: Mary Kubitskey (General Motors)
: Lisa Grutta (General Motors)
: Trina Barta (General Motors)
: Linda Yaccarino (Turner Broadcasting)
: Frank Sgrizzi (Turner Broadcasting)
: Michael Strober (Turner Broadcasting)
: Dan Reiss (Turner Broadcasting)
: Patty Gillette (Turner Broadcasting)
: Katie Lucey‬ (Turner Broadcasting)
Media placement: Talk Show - TBS (Conan O'Brien Show) - 16 November 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
A GM leader said the Cruze launch “might be the most important launch we’ve ever done” – critical to Chevy’s comeback in compact car sales, the second largest segment in the U.S. which was dominated by Toyota and Honda.

Talk show host Conan O’Brien personified “comeback,” staging his return to TV following a well publicized War for Late Night earlier in the year against heavyweights Leno and Letterman. Conan’s move to cable network TBS made him big social media presence in the process, and his appeal to young adults aligned with Cruze’s younger compact car consumer.

Conan’s and Chevy’s comebacks launched November 2010, and the idea was these underdogs would support each other in a way that entertained. We tapped Conan’s 1.7+ million Twitter followers with “The 20 Air Fresheners In 20 Nights Giveaway Spectacular” sweepstakes, where young audiences laughed along with one of the biggest giveaways in late night history.

Creative Execution
Quirky Conan took a typically uncool marketing gimmick – the sweepstakes – and turned the idea on itself. He announced he would give away 20 pine-scented car air fresheners over 20 days, blaming the modest prizes on a smaller budget as part of moving from broadcast to cable. But, because the air freshener needed a “package,” he would also give away a brand new Cruze with each one.

His comedy reinforced this anti-marketing approach, referring to this promotion on-air as “destined to become our show’s first long form product integration and online giveaway”. He kicked off the promotion with a satirical in-show “question and answer” session about the Cruze, with actors and the studio audience helping Conan spoof a blatant, forced product integration segment.

Conan’s connections with his fan base were unleashed via social media to advance the momentum , including promotion on TV, radio, online, Facebook, Twitter and an iPhone app.

Results and Effectiveness
Buzz among Conan’s youth audience delivered 1.6+ million conversations per week about the promotion across Facebook and Twitter. Over 500,000 fans registered, generating 3.5+ million total sweepstakes entries.

“20 Air Fresheners” scored across all crucial metrics:
• Awareness: Cruze jumped to 66% from 35% among Conan fans
• Opinion: 81% of Conan fans developed a more favourable opinion of Cruze; 67% would recommend it to a friend
• Consideration: 71% would consider Cruze if in the market for a new car; 77% of sweepstakes participants said they would test drive
• Leads: 50,000 requested more information; 29,000 requested dealer contact