Social TV case study: Mercedes tells interactive Twitter story to boost brochure requests by 140%

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For the launch of the new Mercedes A-class, Mercedes wanted to appeal to a younger generation of drivers in the UK. This case study looks at how the car maker moved away from a traditionally heavy focus on TV and outdoor advertising to include social and mobile channels in its marketing mix. The #YOUDRIVE campaign combined social media and TV advertising by creating an exciting story told over three TV adverts where social media was used to decide the outcome of the story.

Key takeaways:

• Primetime UK TV commercial incorporates hashtag for interactive social media story
• Live voting affects story in real time, engaging viewers for 140m social media views
• After campaign, Mercedes hatchback market share soars from 0.4% to 6.2%

What was the challenge?

The challenge for Mercedes was to connect with a younger target audience of 25 to 44 year olds, something Mercedes had never been able to do before. Mercedes knew that their target audience used a variety of connected devices to interact, liked to share their views with peers via social media and expected immediacy from brand communications.

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What’s the viewer’s experience?

The idea behind the campaign was to reach out to young people watching TV while interacting with a mobile or tablet device. Showing the advert during primetime TV (during the X Factor) and using the #YOUDRIVE in the TV advert, viewers were encouraged to use Twitter to determine the outcome of the story. Users could also see the live voting results on a website which gave them complete control over what happened next in real time. Other channels used to market the campaign were time targeted text messaging, paid social media and newspaper cover wraps to drive consumers to the trailer on YouTube.

How does this boost the brand’s digital marketing?

The #YOUDRIVE campaign was exciting, engaging and it created a new positive customer driven approach to an automobile launch. The campaign boosted the brands digital marketing, improved the number of leads generated, and also increased its percentage share in the hatchback market. Two months before the #YOUDRIVE campaign in July 2012 the old Mercedes A class only represented 0.4% of the total UK hatchback market, after the campaign this soared to 6.2%. Brochure requests increased by 140%, exceeding the original goal and on social media the hashtag appeared 103 million times on Twitter and 30 million times on Facebook. The #YOUDRIVE website was visited by over 740,000 people and the YouTube trailer viewed 237,000 times and had a very impressive 95% completion rate. It is evident that this campaign significantly boosted the brands previously non-existent digital marketing presence.

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