Brand Barometer - Skoda's cake car ads are simply fab

Ad campaign for new Fabia model using a car made from cake ingredients proves very sweet.

Skoda's campaign for its new version of the Fabia, planned by MediaCom through TV, online and press ads, has created a real buzz.

The 60-second TV ad, which can also be viewed on YouTube, shows a Skoda Fabia being constructed out of cake to the tune of Julie Andrews singing the Sound of Music's My Favourite Things.

In line with the campaign's strapline of "The new Skoda Fabia: full of lovely stuff", the car has a chassis of Madeira cake, a Battenburg interior, iced paintwork, jelly rear-lights and an engine oiled with golden syrup.

The creation of the edible car - filmed in real-time over four days - involved, among other ingredients, 40 jars of raspberry jam, 440kg of margarine, 600kg of icing sugar, 200kg of sugar and 180 eggs.

While the real Skoda Fabia retails at £7,990, the cake car cost an estimated £500,000 to produce.

The ads have successfully caught people's imagination, according to the buzz rating on YouGov's BrandIndex, which has shot up from +3 before the campaign's debut on 17 May to +8.

The campaign has been the subject of features in national newspapers including The Sun, the Daily Star and the Daily Mail, and a Google search for "Skoda cake car" brings up almost 250,000 references.

But while the ads show that Skoda can make a good cake, have they improved perceptions of the company's cars? BrandIndex shows that the campaign has boosted the brand's image all round: Skoda's general impression rating is up four points, its corporate reputation rating is up four points, its recommend score is up two points, and - perhaps most importantly for a brand that has struggled to be taken seriously - its reputation for quality has shot up seven points from -9 to -2.

So what happened to the cake car? Skoda planned to give it to local charities. However, as the car wasn't safe to eat after several days under hot studio lights, it ended its days on the compost heap of a community recycling project.

METHODOLOGY - YouGov's BrandIndex is a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors, measured on a seven-point profile, with data delivered on the next day.

YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday, more than half a million interviews per year.

This means you can spot trends as soon as they happen, not when it's too late. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 130,000.

The score is the net rating: people are asked to identify the brands to which they have a positive response, and then those to which they have a negative response, to whatever is the prompt measure.

The net score is the positive minus the negative.

The seven measures that make the complete profile are below.

Each is taken independently - in any one survey, any individual respondent is asked about only one measure for the sector, not all seven. Therefore, none of the readings influence each other within the survey.

1. Buzz

2. General impression

3. Quality

4. Value

5. Satisfaction

6. Recommend

7. Corporate reputation

In addition, we supply an index score.

by Sundip Chahal