By COLIN GRIMSHAW, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 22 May 2000 12:00AM
Country Living has pulled off an innovative promotion linking
Mercedes cars with the magazine’s dog-loving readers.
The June issue of Country Living carries a six-page advertorial for
Mercedes and a sponsored cover-mounted booklet entitled Special Places
to Stay, which reviews country hotels that welcome pets. The booklet
also features a Mercedes-sponsored competition.
The advertorial, A Sign of Good Breeding, marries a Mercedes car model
with a particular dog breed owner. For example, the compact Mercedes
A-class is apparently best suited to West Highland terriers, whereas the
roomier C-class can easily accommodate a labrador.
The idea was sparked when publisher Chris Hughes saw the Mercedes TV ad
featuring a dog being driven through the desert, accompanied by the
obligatory Janis Joplin soundtrack. Shortly afterwards, Hughes went on a
media day out to Scotland to test drive an M-class.
’I found myself sitting next to Simon Oldfield, the marketing director
of Mercedes Benz UK,’ said Hughes. ’I pitched the idea to him, pointing
out that dog legislation was in the news. He took it back to Mercedes’
brand planning manager Anna Hill at MSC. She judged it would fit the
grand strategy and, through a series of coincidences, business in excess
of pounds 50,000 was done.’
Hughes also revealed he has poached Emma Teague from IPC’s classified
department to work as a sales executive on Country Living.
Meanwhile, Country Living will sponsor the Royal Horticultural Society’s
Tatton Park Flower Show.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk