#SantaGoesElectric with Renault
Retail Group’s electric Zoe car
Client: Renault Retail
Services: Outreach / PR / Content Marketing
Timeframe: Q4 2017
The business problem
The latest research shows that by 2040 new cars will be electrified. Renault is leading the way with its electric car, the ZOE, but the public can sometimes be wary of electric cars. Misconceptions around electric models include concerns over the distance they can travel per charge, or that the boots are usually impractically small. So Renault was in need of marketing services that show the ZOE’s points of difference.
All good marketing campaigns should address customer pain points. Issues or preconceptions need to be answered. With Renault’s ZOE car, we addressed this head-on, delivering a solid awareness-boosting Digital PR campaign that leaned heavily on seasonal creativity, and quality content and links to capture the audience.
How we solved it
It was approaching December when we were planning a Digital PR campaign. Now…. who travels a long way at Christmas, and who needs a big boot to carry a lot of things? Santa Claus of course! And there was our idea: #SantaGoesElectric.
The idea involved Santa driving an electric and fully campaign-branded Renault ZOE “sleigh” around the UK, delivering free gifts, with the public able to engage and track the car on social media through the campaign hashtag. The underpinning concept was to demonstrate the ZOE’s capabilities and ease any misconceptions, by demonstrating the miles covered, while the gifts delivered showcased the range and capacity of the vehicle.
To give the campaign a strong news angle for press and increase the public engagement and likelihood of links – especially over the festive season – we used the opportunity to show Renault’s commitment to its local communities near its dealerships. We took it as a chance to spread local Christmas cheer and added surprise gift drops to charities and hospices to the plan, in addition to the public who were signing up for free gifts via social media. Partnering up with luxury chocolate brand Montezuma for the Christmas gifts also saw the campaign rocket to national success from the brand partnerships.
In total, #SantaGoesElectric saw 1,000 boxes of Christmas chocolates delivered across four UK cities in four days, covering 820 miles. Local communities and charities were delighted. Big publications covered and linked to the campaign. And Renault’s search rankings and traffic saw visible improvement.
It got people talking because it was relevant, engaging, and addressed customer pain points. Prior to the launch day, Honchō spent a day on the phone to professors and government environment advisors to find out how much CO2 nine reindeer would emit so that we could calculate their cost per mile (carrots per mile!).
Comparing this with the emission and cost of a Renault ZOE making the same trip, it positioned the car as a cost-effective, environmentally-viable solution. We used an infographic to demonstrate this when talking to journalists. The press angle was that Santa would use a four-day test drive to see how far he can get and how many gifts he can deliver in his ZOE sleigh to see if it is time to retire his reindeer and go 100% electric.
It drew lots of attention and public engagement around the Christmas period, but also for Honchō; our campaign was shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign’ and ‘Best Use of Content Marketing’ in The Drum’s 2018 Search Awards!
“This campaign began as an innovative Digital PR exercise but soon became much more. We made real connections with our local communities and rediscovered the true meaning of Christmas by spreading a bit of happiness. We couldn’t be more pleased, it was a rewarding project in every way.”
Ashley Wade, Group Digital Marketing Manager at Renault Retail.