Monday, September 26, 2011

Ad of the Day: Smart Car In a world of big, another auto brand wants you to think small

smart fortwo unbig tv ad
Noreen O'Leary
Remember the Smart car—that quirky European two-seater created by the auto world's most improbable partners, Swatch and Daimler-Benz? If you do, you're ahead of many other Americans, half of whom said in a recent J.D. Power survey that they have no awareness of the brand.
Back in 2008, however, there was great anticipation of the car's entry into the U.S. after its successful launch 10 years earlier in nine European countries. Cheap and fuel-efficient, a little city car with a big Daimler pedigree, the vehicle sold more than 24,000 units in the U.S. in 2008 with little ad support. With the beginning of the financial meltdown, sales plummeted, and this summer Daimler took control of the car's marketing and distribution, which had been handled by Penske Automotive Group. The German automaker hired Smart's first national partners for marketing, events, and PR, and is now launching the car's initial TV advertising.
The launch spot, via Merkley + Partners and Razorfish, is a pure awareness-building effort, underscoring the micro car's unique size in a country's whose national religion has always been "bigger is better." The agency uses lemming-like imagery showing the pervasiveness of Americans' love of that notion. The commercial ends with a lone young dissenter, who looks out his office window at a Smart vehicle and whose eyes light up as he discovers "small." The commercial uses the tagline, "Unbig. Uncar," which will evolve in future incarnations to other ideas like "Uncluttered" and "Unblah."

Read more here.
Watch video of new smart car ad here.

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