In a way marketing is some sort of alchemy. Promotion specialists take average product, maybe decent but that do not stands out from others of this type, and has to change public opinion so that this product will be considered something absolutely unique. Make people think, that they have to have it if they are – depending on the strategy of promotion – cool, trendy, reasonable, family-oriented. A good example of such marketing alchemy can be Peugeot 207.
This is a typical city car of compact size, geared toward middle-class families and singles. Yes, it is aesthetically pleasing, but it for sure does not have a design we would call amazing or artistic – just a good concept that works, but does not stand out. Also, technical performance of Peugeot 207 does not make competition feel insecure – even in the most powerful version it has barely just over 100 horsepower. Yes, thanks to the maneuverability and its size 207 was starting in rallies, its WRC version was pretty successful, but naturally beyond aesthetics they do not have much in common with the version we can see on the streets. It thus appears ,that marketers stood here in front of a typical challenge for them: trying to convince customers, that this nice, but still not having any more advantages than other cars of this class model, is a real must-have. Did they succeeded? How they tried to accomplish such goal?
They decided to associate Peugeot 207 with a very strong emotion – love, and what excites us about it maybe the most – desire. This is perfectly illustrates in an ad titled “Ladybugs”, in which two ladybugs play main roles. They come inside parked Peugeot 207 and immediately romantic mood is getting into them, which consequences in equally romantic behavior. Passers-by can see characteristic shakes of the car, as if inside a couple was making love, and this is actually the case – only that the couple enjoying romantic time are two tiny ladybugs. The final message of the ad is “In Peugeot 207 everything is more intense” and that is how they want to influence customers perception. This kind of advertising makes the impression, that the 207 is a “sexy” car, what is certainly an original idea, as well as it has a good chance of succeeding. In fact, such car could not be promoted as a luxury car, also could not be sold as dynamic sports vehicle. However, an attempt to advertise it as sexy, as the one that makes your blood move faster cause of strong emotions and a car that give you romantic feeling? For sure such marketing strategy could prove to be successful. Especially since one of the main targets of this model are – apart from young families – women, and which women would not want to be seen as sexy?
Of course, nowadays car models are not being advertised with only one ad, 207 is not an exception. Another interesting Peugeot 207 advert is called “Las Vegas Wedding”, and it fits naturally in the above-described promotional strategy. We see a young man trying to hitchhike, probably already for a long time waiting for someone to stop. Finally he succeeds, and it proves to be like winning the lottery – beautiful woman stops for him, obviously driving Peugeot 207. What’s more, she’s in a wedding dress, which adds a mysterious aura to the situation – is she a wedding runaway? Possible. It gives specific tension between the couple, especially when woman hits Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” in the radio. While driving towards Las Vegas, woman gives white shirt to her passenger, which he instantly puts on. They pull up beside small church, where the priest gives them a blessing and proclaims them as marriage – couple doesn’t even gets out of the car, the sacrament is confirmed inside the car. Moreover, so far they have not exchanged a word, which makes it all even more special. Message of the ad that we find at the end is “Drive sexy”. Consequently, again these values are promoted, Peugeot 207 as a car causing strong emotions, and that fits women who want to be perceived as romantic and desirable.
What’s ultimately most important, this promotional campaign was very successful. Despite the fact, that the car is no treat in terms of performance, and when it comes to aesthetics it does not beat any other cars from this category, it defeated all competition in sales. It was the best-selling car in Europe in 2007, so year after the debut of the car on the market, also in 2008 it still was going very strong, if not sensational – this time it took second place on best-selling-cars ranking. This campaign could easily pass as a model of effective and creative promotion, and certainly everyone who would like to learn more about the mechanisms of effective promotion should study it carefully. For sure it also helped, that this car was available in several versions – including hatchback, convertible, station wagon as well as a classic four-door sedan.