Automotive Sector: Brand and agency views

Volvo, Imagination and Tebays share insights into their event strategies for the competitive and crowded automotive marketplace.

Automotive Sector: Brand and agency views
Automotive Sector: Brand and agency views


One of the biggest challenges in the automotive event sector is finding new venues and formats that best showcase the client's brand and product. Communicating your message' is our strapline and is key to all we do. We constantly strive for locations and formats that are creative, unusual and deliver core messages in a concise but engaging way.

One of our recent events was the UK press launch of the Fiat Panda Cross in October. In spite of the vehicle's size, we wanted to showcase its off-road excellence in an extreme way.

Having found a working quarry in the Cotswolds, we built a course that was demanding for the car, in a landscape that had real wow factor. To quote one of the journalists: "Through a gravel quarry the Panda Cross waded, climbed and dropped without faltering on a breathtaking obstacle course on a par with anything I have experienced in other off-road events."


In 2014, Volvo Car UK ran two pop-up shops in Bluewater, Kent and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, collectively open for nine weeks and attracting tens of thousands of visitors. We wanted to take our cars to a new audience, creating a Swedish environment that truly reflected our brand. Dealerships can be intimidating for some customers, so this was an opportunity to raise awareness of our products in a relaxed, accessible space.

As the only Swedish car brand, Volvo holds a unique place in the automotive sector, allowing us to stand out simply by being true to our Scandinavian heritage and brand values of design, connectivity, environment and safety. Focused and targeted activity will be key for 2015, putting our cars in unusual places. However, a commitment to our unique brand attributes, and doing things only Volvo can authentically do, will set us apart from our competitors.


To stand out in a crowded environment there needs to be a clear idea born out of insight, which pinpoints audience desires. We like to take clients out of their comfort zone with creative solutions. For example, the Jaguar F-Type Coupe reveal at the LA Auto Show saw the car driven through the audience at high speed - the perfect distillation of Jaguar's brand positioning and high-risk strategy. Without a courageous client and audience it wouldn't have worked.

Sustainability is always a talking point. We saw Jaguar Land Rover benefit from real efficiencies and reductions in energy consumption at its new global exhibition programme through an investment in technology. But measurability is top of the agenda. Data capture at experiences is part of the purchase journey and brands want to see return - building awareness, creating loyalty and generating sales.

More: Check out Event's Sector Insight on the automotive industry, which revealed that the need for smarter mobility is changing consumer perception of the car industry, so brands must now present their softer side.

Case study: Imagination created a design-led multi-sensory experience for automotive brand Rolls-Royce at the Saatchi Gallery in London in November.

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