Smart Promo, Case study HOW SMART IS CHINA? by MEC Beijing

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market China
Agency MEC Beijing
Released April 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Online Advertising
Product/Service: SMART
Date of First Appearance: Apr 2 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: MEC CHINA, Beijing, CHINA
Entry URL:
Head of Marketing: JingBo Mao (Mercedes-Benz)
e-marketing/smart Senior Manager: Lei Liu (Mercedes-Benz)
Marketing & Communications Manager: Javier Lu (Mercedes-Benz)
Marketing & Communications Associate Manager: Shan Li (Mercedes-Benz)
e-marketing/smart Associate Manager: Chris Zhang (Mercedes-Benz)
National Creative Director/Managing Director: Charley Kan (MEC)
General Manager: Michelle Yang (MEC)
General Manager MEC Interaction: Sharon Wang (MEC)
Planning Director: Leslie Yao (MEC)
Associate Planning Director MEC Interaction: Corinna Chen (MEC)
Associate Planning Director MEC Interaction: Sophie Wong (MEC)
Group Account Director: Tony Yeung (Energysource)
Associate Account Director: Luna Yang (Energysource)
Media Director: Monica Bian (Energysource)
Media placement: Online - MSN (IM) - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Pcauto - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Autohome - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Xcar - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Che168 - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Ifocus - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Qunar - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Youku - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Online - Mop - 2 April 2009
Media placement: Search - Baidu, Google - 2 April 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Our viral videos took the new brand to 3 million consumers, the cube contest attracted 90 million page views and 31 million votes. Around 6,000 people came to the test-drives and pre-orders were 300% ahead of target. 1,500 smart cars were sold.

Creative Execution
Pre-launch, we spread the word about the amazing smart car with three viral videos showcasing its small size, easy to park seeded to the hottest portals in China. Then we challenged our target to create a ‘smart’ cube – 3m x 3m (a Smart car’s length) – in conjunction with China’s biggest portal. Consumers got to vote for the winners, which were then made into real works of art for an event at Beijing’s smartest art gallery. Our next message appeared on our smart website –, called on the target to identify the “smart” landmarks across China, using words and photos on Google Maps. They could also vote for the smartest location in every city to create a smart map of the country. Dealerships were also included on the map. We put the car into the hands of our target market with a unique 13-city tour of test-drives.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Smart was launching in China. Our target audience was well-educated and design conscious. Their perfect car would be distinctive and express their personality. We targeted their interest in design and challenged them to show us just how smart they could be. Mixing events, online challenges, viral videos and in-store activation we created massive interest in smart. Viral educated them about the key features of the new car, our content creation challenge appealed to their love of the new, new thing and allowed them a say in the selection process for a unique event. We integrated our dealerships into an online challenge to locate the coolest places in China and finally put the car in their hands. The message delivered both mass awareness and engaged our core target, allowing them the chance to make their mark and successfully launch the new Smart.