STEERING INFLUENCERS INTO THE SONIC DRIVER’S SEAT by MSLGroup for Chevrolet

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STEERING INFLUENCERS INTO THE SONIC DRIVER’S SEAT

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency MSLGroup
Account Supervisor Tony Macrito
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: CHEVROLET
Product/Service: CHEVY SONIC
Agency: MSLGROUP
General Motors Regional Communications Manager: Brian Goebel (General Motors)
General Motors Regional Communications Manager: Connie Burke (General Motors)
Communications Manager: Cristi Vazquez (Chevrolet)
Manager/Digital Consumer Engagement: Carolin Probst-Iyer (Chevrolet)
Vice President: Dawn Mckenzie (MSLGroup)
Senior Vice President: Joan Cetera (MSLGroup)
Account Executive: Jenna Simenic (MSLGroup)
Senior Account Supervisor: Christie Shein (MSLGroup)
Senior Account Supervisor: Jenny Sherman (MSLGroup)
Senior Account Executive: Stephanie Lewis (MSLGroup)
Account Supervisor: Tony Macrito (MSLGroup)
Account Manager: Ashley Jacober (Klout)
Media placement: Research - Wall Street Journal Online - 25 August 2011
Media placement: Digital Development - - 9 November 2011
Media placement: Media Relations - Advertising Age, Carscoop, CMO.com, Brand Channel And Others - 1 November 2011
Media placement: Social Media Engagement - - 9 November 2011
Media placement: Experiential Marketing - - 18 November 2011
Media placement: Measurement And Analysis - - 9 November 2011

Summary of the Campaign
71% of Americans use reviews from family members or friends to make decisions on using a particular company, brand or product. Another 34-50% trust the experience of online friends or strangers. These insights ring particularly true for the younger generation.

In an effort to introduce millennials to the all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic subcompact vehicle, influence their opinion, and get them talking, Chevrolet leveraged Klout, a company that measures online influence, to implement the first ever national automotive Klout Perk. With just 6 weeks to plan and execute, the program targeted Klout users in 5 key markets by providing them with 3-day vehicle loans to create authentic online and offline awareness and enthusiasm for the Sonic by encouraging them to use social media to share their driving experiences. Influencer parties engaged additional consumers in each market and media outreach generated additional buzz. In just 5 weeks, the program exceeded expectations by engaging 280 influencers (and their networks) and surpassed its goal by 131%with more than 16,000 social media shares. In addition, the campaign resulted in 39 media and blog posts and directly contributed to at least 1 vehicle sale.

The Situation
Chevrolet wanted to introduce millennials to the all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic small car, influence their opinion and get them talking. The team leveraged Klout, a company that measures online influence, to implement the first ever national automotive Klout Perk. Marketing and advertising was in full swing, but current perception of the small-car segment was not so positive. Chevy wanted to change this perception and convince consumers that Chevy small cars are relevant and a leader in smart, easy-to-use technology.

The Goal
The objectives were based on the results of a test Chevy Volt Klout Perk in Chicago and research on the target millennial generation (18-34 years old).

1. Increase online awareness and enthusiasm for the Chevy Sonic:
• 7,000 total branded social media shares;
• 35+ blog/media placements;
2. Reach quantity and quality Millennial influencers in 5 cities:
• Fill 130 loan opportunities (24 per market);
• Minimum average Klout score of 45;
• Minimum True Reach of 900m;
• Minimum True Impressions of 2m (total: 4.5m).
3. Secure at least 1 vehicle discount code request.

The Strategy
The best way to increase awareness, perception and buzz is to actually get consumers behind the wheel. The team decided to leverage 20 Chevy Sonics available in local fleets across the country to reach as many influencers as possible by offering 3-day loans to increase awareness and enthusiasm for Chevy’s newest small car.

Rather than fill the market with several small, one-off campaigns produced by different departments that did not align, the strategy was to target Sonic’s key audience with one campaign, message, invite and landing page to ensure cohesive communications.

Based on insights derived from the audience analysis research conducted, the program strategically targeted influencers ages 18-34, who have a minimum Klout score of 45. The team also specified that the target must live in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York or San Francisco, with Klout in music, technology, environment, shopping, social media, adventure and travel.

Execution
Target/Plan (1 Week)
• Developed landing page, which was optimised for sharing, to invite qualified influencers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco to sign up for the Perk on Klout.com.
• Drafted internal FAQ and press release;
• Conducted national and in-market media outreach.

Invite (2 Days)
• Klout invited target consumers to opt into the campaign via Klout.com, email and Twitter.

Engage (5 Weeks)
• Loan recipients received a pre- and post-loan email with the campaign hashtag and were invited to receive a vehicle discount;
• Executed 5 in-market Chevy Sonic Klout Up parties to create additional buzz.

Measure (Throughout)
• Co-ordinated with Klout to respond to social media issues or concerns;
• Documented completion of loans;
• Measured the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and traditional media;
• Conducted daily monitoring of online conversations to identify any that require a response.

Documented Results
1.
• Exceeded goal by 131%, generating 16,211 total social media shares - including hundreds who shared their positive opinion and many discussing desire to purchase;
• 4 YouTube videos;
• 39 unique media and blog placements - including coverage in Advertising Age, MediaPost, Brand Channel and CRM magazine, generating 762,000 impressions;
• Klout indicated this was one of the most successful campaigns yet and they received inquiries from other auto manufacturers.

2.
• Loans were filled in 2 days;
• Met 100% of influencer engagement goal: 280 influencers participated (130 completed loans and 150 attended Klout Ups);
• Average Klout score: 54;
• 130 completed vehicle loans;
• True reach: 10.4m;
• True impressions: 29m;
• Total impressions: 72m.

3.
• Vehicle discount code requests: 3;
• Confirmed purchase to date: 1;
• Several social media shares with intent to purchase.