• Multi-channel activity “enriching” lives of target market
• UGC and Instagram at the heart of the strategy
• Peugeot enlists brand experience agency Strata to deliver B2C experience
Peugeot’s latest brand activation has adopted a “more modern” approach to marketing that is more customer-centric and less metric-driven.
Kris Cholmondeley, Marketing Director at Peugeot, said that the “time-limited nature of physical-only events” led the car marque to purposefully expand its most recent multi-channel brand campaign into the digital space, extending the live element of the activation’s value and broadening its reach.
Peugeot enlisted the expertise of brand experience agency Strata to design and deliver its Inception at Outernet experience at London’s latest immersive entertainment district Outernet, as part of an ongoing two-year experiential campaign running in the UK.
“Only 40% of people in the UK are car enthusiasts and only 6% of the population is in the market for a car at any one time,” explained Cholmondeley. “We wanted to find a hook that appealed to 80-90% of that market.”
He continued: “We all get bombarded by too much intrusive marketing, so it was important that we devised an activation that enriched the lives of our audience and did not intrude.”
Cholmondeley added: “From our research, we found that the average person in the UK takes 2,000 photos on their phone every year, but few know how to do this well. Taking photographs of things we see is such an intrinsic part of our life. We identified a clear opportunity to create a campaign that spoke to our audience through photography and by delivering free photography masterclasses. It was the perfect medium to highlight Peugeot’s stunning design and the quality of our products, and it allowed our audience to discover the brand in a more organic, and less intrusive, way.”
Peugeot’s knowledge of the marketplace informed its communication strategy. It knew that photography was key to the campaign’s success and that consistent communication was vital if it wished to create an authentic and relevant brand-first, product-second activation.
Strata’s experienced team – headed up by Giles Cattle, Director of Creative and Strategy at Strata Creative Communications – developed, designed, and delivered the creative concept, content, and activation.
Cattle said: “The Peugeot experience featured multiple touchpoints that worked for multiple audiences, maximised ROI and generated valuable user-generated content (UGC). Consumers, press and content creators all had enriching and engaging moments through a packed week-long activation at Outernet.”
Visitors were able to explore a dynamic and interactive environment that housed Peugeot’s Inception concept vehicle. They could also step inside The Cube, an immersive environment comprised of innovative LED and state-of-the-art mirror technology. Inside the Cube, users could take part in a phone photography masterclass delivered by a Peugeot photography content creators, learn new skills, and share their photography across social channels using the #PeugeotPresents hashtag. The Cube is currently touring various urban event and festival locations and in 2024, will continue to visit aligned lifestyle events too.
Cholmondeley continued: “Photography lives across everything we do so we used it as a hook for increased engagement. This dynamic approach to UGC is completely different to our historical approach to events, which has been somewhat traditional.”
According to Cholmondeley, there is “too much beige in the world”, which is why Peugeot wanted the content-rich campaign to be bold and more innovative, creating desire and intrigue.
“We originally thought of using Outernet as an OOH campaign but then we quickly realised there was more scope,” he added. “We had a great, dynamic event agency in Strata that grew our brief, met our objectives, repeatedly communicated our four pillars – Stunning Design, High-End Quality, an Exciting Drive and Electric Leadership – and integrated the important photography aspect to the campaign.”
The Inception at Outernet experience attracted more than 76,000 visitors and the campaign had an online reach of more than 126 million. Furthermore, Inception at Outernet reached more than 11.4 million social users. That figure continues to grow as more UGC is released.
“We created an environment that would drive phone usage and extend the reach of the brand, beyond the physical event, and beyond what we could measure,” said Cholmondeley.
He continued: “When you look at event KPIs, people always look at how many leads you have and the data you’ve got but sometimes this information is looked at too early in the process. Plus, it’s data that is designed to please an internal metric. It’s not customer-centric. One of our big KPIs is Instagram followers – we find it’s a much softer, natural way to pique people’s interest in the brand. We look to see how many new Instagram followers we have. It’s not just about the car, it’s about photography and lifestyle, and so we must speak to our customers in a language that they want to be spoken to in.”
Whilst thousands of people experienced Inception at Outernet, millions more saw the photos. During the week-long event, Peugeot UK increased its Instagram following by more than 2,000. This growth emphasised the significance of Peugeot’s content and engagement strategies with its target audience and demonstrated that it successfully extended the experience “beyond the room” and into the digital space.
“This was an incredibly important aspect of the campaign,” Cholmondeley commented. “We want the Peugeot brand to be front of mind so when customers are in the market for a car, we don’t need to pester them with data and emails that they don’t want to receive.”
This “softer” and more customer-centric approach to promoting the Peugeot brand was central to the activation as was the “collaborative” and “cross-functional” nature of the campaign’s creation and delivery.
Cholmondeley explained further: “It’s been fantastic to work with Strata to design and deliver a campaign that has had an impact across everything. We collaborated throughout the project and created a cross-functional team, identifying a champion in each agency and department to share thinking and ideas. It was an efficient use of everyone’s time and Strata drove that cooperative approach, delivering against our goals, vision, and the culture we wanted to create.”
Cholmondeley concluded: “We want our marketing to enrich people’s lives, not intrude. We also want to be very single-minded and consistent in our messaging to achieve a more consistent identity and give people a clearer understanding of the Peugeot brand. Turning an experiential event into a multi-channel approach such as this was a logical and clear strategy to achieve this in addition to offering significant ROI benefits.”