Seat, the VW-owned Spanish car maker, is relaunching itself into
the UK with advertising to build its tiny market share.
Senior executives of the company are understood to have briefed Bates UK
about a print and TV campaign - backed by a budget of several million
pounds - to break within the next few weeks.
The initiative marks the most significant advertising for the Seat brand
in Britain since a pounds 2 million TV campaign four years ago through
the then Leagas Shafron Davis.
The company laid down its marker earlier this month with a full-page ad
in The Sunday Times for its Ibiza model.
The advertising is expected to revolve around three models and to open
with a promotion for the Leon, Seat’s equivalent of the VW Polo.
It is the result of a growing belief by Seat chiefs that there is a
market opportunity for their small- and medium-sized models in the
The campaign is not expected to dwell on Seat’s VW parentage for fear of
cannibalising VW sales. ’It’s a tricky problem because people think of
Seat as a Spanish Fiat,’ an industry source said. ’But the brand doesn’t
want to present itself as a cheap VW.’
Bates Europe took over Seat’s pounds 100 million international account
in April 1998, the business having previously been split between the
former Wilkens network and the Barcelona agency, Casadevall Pedrano.
Leagas Shafron, a Wilkens network agency, attracted PR hype for its 1996
campaign comprising eight spoof soap opera commercials which were each
screened just once.