New Skoda ads focus on owners

Trusting the judgment of those who drive Skodas is the premise behind Fallon's new £3 million campaign for the car brand.

The three 30-second TV executions move the "It's a Skoda. Honest" proposition on after three years of increased sales and brand profile, to a new strapline: "Skoda. It might earn you more respect than you think."

The first ad, for the Octavia model, will break on 12 May, and features a man on a fishing trip. He arrives at the lake, spies a solitary fisherman sitting on the opposite side, assumes he is discerning as he owns a Skoda, and walks right round to sit next to him. "Stranger" and "supermarket" accompany "fishing".

It is the first marketing activity bought by the new head of marketing at Skoda UK, Mary Newcombe, who replaced Chris Hawken in May 2002, when he left to head marketing for the parent brands Volkswagen and Seat in Asia-Pacific.

"Skoda's advertising has emphatically transformed perceptions about the brand," Newcombe said.

"Not only has Skoda's former reputation been eroded, but sales have increased exponentially."

She added: "The opportunity now exists to demonstrate the positive values of the brand through the Skoda owners. I believe this new campaign will help attract more consumers to the brand,"

The Fallon account director Phil Dowgierd said research had shown that consumers were intrigued not just by the brand, but also by those who had chosen it: "They want to know more. Who's driving them? What are these people like? This campaign changes the focus from cars to people, and the ads explore the judgments other people make based on the car we drive."

The ads were written by Mike Sutherland and art directed by Anthony Nelson. They were directed by Ivan Zacharias through Stink. Media planning and buying is by MediaCom.

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