Renault: THE MEGANE EXPERIMENT by Publicis London for Renault

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Renault: THE MEGANE EXPERIMENT

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR
Market United Kingdom
Agency Publicis London
Director Henry Alex-Rubin
Executive Creative Director Adam Kean, Tom Ewart
Art Director David Hillyard
Creative Matthew Lancod, Robert Amstell
Producer Drew Santarsiero, Ray Leaky
Photographer Paul Murphy, Mark Wesley
Digital Creative Director Alix Pennycuick
Released June 2011

Awards

Cannes Lions 2011
Media Lions Best Use of Integrated Media Silver
Media Lions Cars & Automotive Services Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Best Integrated Campaign
Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Advertiser/Client: RENAULT
Product/Service: MEGANE
Entrant Company: PUBLICIS LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Advertising Agency: PUBLICIS LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
2nd Advertising Agency: PUBLICIS MODEM London, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Agency: MANNING GOTTLIEB OMD London, UNITED KINGDOM

Creative: Robert Amstell (Publicis)
Creative: Matthew Lancod (Publicis)
Executive Creative Director: Tom Ewart/ Adam Kean (Publicis)
Creative Director/ Copywriter: Ed Robinson (Publicis)
Director: Henry Alex- Rubin (Smuggler)
Producer: Drew Santarsiero (Smuggler)
Producer: Ray Leaky (Smuggler)
Agency Producer: Joe Bagnall (Publicis)
Agency Producer: Colin Hickson (Publicis)
Production Assistant: Sam Holmes (Publicis)
Designer/ Typographer: Paul Belford (This Is Real Art)
Art Director: David Hillyard (Publicis)
Photographer: Paul Murphy ()
Photographer: Mark Wesley (Publicis)
Digital Art Director: Christian Horsfall (Publicis Modem)
Digital Copywriter: Ian Sweeny (Publicis Modem)
Digital Creative Director: Alix Pennycuick (Publicis Modem)
Digital Producer: Ken Blake (Publicis Modem)
Digital Account Manager: Pascal Meline (Publicis Modem)
Executive Director: Steve Edwards (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Account Director: Tom Cocker (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Digital Account Director: Laura Quy (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Strategy Director: Stephen Stokes (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Planner: Bhavin Pabari (Manning Gottlieb OMD)

Results and Effectiveness:
We generated 417,873 unique microsite visitors. Rich banner CTR reached 0.28% (twice automotive industry norms), viral content CTR reached 4.98% and YouTube content exceeded 313,000 views. PR generated £1.8 million worth of earned media. MÉGANE market share increased 52% compared to 2009, while the market leader’s sales declined 16%. Brand scores for “personality and character” increased from 11.9 to 19.4 at the campaign peak. Gisburn residents introduced more joie de vivre into their lives opening a new deli, voting to twin their town with Claude’s hometown and setting up a Zumba class. And yes, a car really did change a town.
Creative Execution:
We approached The MÉGANE Experiment like a documentary, not a commercial. We sent one man (Claude) to Gisburn, Lancashire to spread the joie among the town’s inhabitants and filmed how they reacted to him and his MÉGANE. The resulting eleven minute film was completely unscripted and everything you see is genuine.

The film was hosted on the MÉGANE Experiment website along with interactive games, Facebook links, and a Joie map of the UK. Driving consumers to the microsite was a fully integrated media campaign (TV, press, online display and PR) designed to build as much noise as possible to help earn additional media coverage in news and entertainment programming. This is the next generation of advertising. Not just making a bold claim, but taking a product truth and proving it on air with real people in an entertaining, fascinating, and ultimately moving film about the transformation of a small town in Lancashire.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea:
Our challenge was to raise awareness of the RENAULT MÉGANE among people who would normally make the safe choice and buy a Ford Focus – fine car, but hardly a statement of personal taste. MÉGANE had the looks and the style but no clear personality. We decided to position the car as ‘anti-bland’. We thought it was interesting that towns with higher MÉGANE sales were statistically more likely to be populated with more fertile, happier, longer living people. This sparked a thought: could the MÉGANE be made to appear responsible for this? The most powerful way to promote this thought would be to test it. What would happen if we brought all that joie de vivre from a French town to an English town? Could we convince its inhabitants to embrace the French way of life and the car that epitomises it? In fact, could a car change a town?