The Holden Dealer Team (HDT) was a big hit in the 80’s, thanks to its owner and advocate Peter Brock. The cars the company produced are now Australian icons and collectors items worth many thousands of dollars.
Almost 30 years have passed and HDT has been resurrected by friend and fan, Peter Champion. The company is now producing a series of tribute cars to the 80’s classics, modeled on the current VE Commodore, as well as planning a whole new generation of HDT vehicles.
The most recent model is the Blue Meanie – a reinvention of the truly iconic 80’s road beast. Only 250 of these vehicles will be produced. This new product had to be launched to the public, but how?
Brand: Blue Meanie
Agency: Jack in the box
The objective was to find a way to achieve mass target market awareness of the new vehicle, within certain budget constraints. The key was to find a way to reach ‘opinion leaders’ within the target market, allowing them to spread the Blue Meanie message to their various social circles.
It was agreed that one of the most concentrated occurrences of target market members would be at the Bathurst 1000 race event over the weekend of the 9-11October 2009. HDT negotiated a deal with Super Cheap Auto for a prime position in their marquee at the Bathurst Race weekend. It was here that HDT would unveil their Blue monster. The strategic challenge was in the discovery of a mechanism to attract people to the unveiling and generate continued discussion about the car beyond the event.
The team at Jack in the box devised a launch campaign, with the core concept being a competition to win the first ever test drive in the new Blue Meanie. The target market would enter by completing an online registration form via computer kiosks displayed at the Blue Meanie stand at Bathurst.
The concept was based on values of exclusivity and prestige – the car was rare and special and only a privileged few would have the opportunity to experience it. The competition was supported by flyers and temporary tattoos mass printed and distributed around the Bathurst crowds. A number of drop and pull-up banners were also produced to display at the Blue Meanie stand. A dedicated Blue Meanie website was developed, designed as the entry point for interested punters, sending them on a journey to HDT’s main site. It was turned live on the morning of Friday 9 September – until then a countdown was the only graphic on screen.
The final campaign piece was a banner advertisement booked in the Sydney Morning Herald for the morning prior to Bathurst, the 9th of October.
In addition, HDT were privileged to have Bev Brock unveil the Blue Meanie and Peter and Bev’s son James also in attendance at the launch.
On Friday 9 October, the Blue Meanie website received 2,169 visits and 15,929 page views, and the average time spent on the site was 4.01 minutes. Of those visitors, an impressive 79% originated from referring sources, such as the Street Commodores forum, Just Commodores forum, Holden Commodore Club and even the Ford Forum. Twitter and Facebook both went crazy over the Blue Meanie, thanks to a few seeds strategically planted by the Jack in the box team.
This is proof of the power of social media and networking within car-enthusiast circles. The Blue Meanie website continues to receive between 100 and 200 visits a day and online discussion is still circulating about the car.
- HDT received over 600 entries to the test drive competition.
- All entrants are now subscribed to the HDT database.
- 40 purchase enquires were lodged via the Blue Meanie and HDT websites, and
- Three vehicles have been sold (a Blue Meanie can cost $100,000+)
Within budget constraints, HDT were able to target their advertising to a select ‘opinion leader’ market and the use of the competition meant the awareness was continued beyond a single exposure at the event. When the test drive winner is announced, the test drive will be filmed and uploaded to YouTube and online forums, continuing the process and spurring yet another round of online discussion and buzz.