The Great Driving Challenge: A perfect marriage between traditional & new-age marketing

Some brands definitely know how to use social media for an effective promotion campaign. While lots of Indian brands are still wary of social media or are trying to figure out how to use it beyond forums and customer complaint management, here comes a very engaging online cum offline reality campaign from Mitsubishi Motors which has set an example for social media marketing in India. They have launched a marketing initiative “The Great Driving Challenge” as a promotion strategy for launch of its sports car brand “Cedia Sports” and what makes it really unique is the way it has integrated its online initiative with the offline one.

The Great Driving Challenge is a web-centric campaign where couples are asked to apply for the challenge on Out of all the applicants, top 100 will be selected for the next round based on public voting & the quality of their profile on the website. These 100 will be further narrowed down to 25, then 9 & finally 3 by a jury set by the promoters. The final 3 will go for an all expense paid drive in the Mitsubishi Cedia Sports car allotted by the company. The challenge is to drive 3000 kilometers in 10 days and tell the world about your travel experience through your blogs, twitter & other online social media forums. Well, name “Driving Challenge” sounds like some sort of driving race or sports rally, ain’t it? But this is definitely neither of it. In fact here the winners will be decided based on number of posts (videos/ blogs/ pictures) uploaded by the finalists during the drive phase & quality of their posts uploaded. The final winner will get to win a cash prize of Rs. 10 lacs! Interesting, very interesting! You can read more details of the contest rules here.

I think I liked almost everything about this campaign. But some aspects which are surely worth highlighting are:

  • Content / Word of mouth: In an era where content matters so much & online word of mouth can make or break a brand, I think this is definitely a unique way which Cedia has adopted to create content & positive pages online. What a better way to generate online buzz than blogs & tweets these days. To add to that the whole contest is based on the quality of content.
  • Effective targeting: This was a launch of a “sports” car & I think Mitsubishi did a great thing by taking a social media route as that’s where today’s young urban Indian is available. It’s really great to observe a shift towards digital medium for as important campaign as launch of a new product.
  • Cost effective: As per the official reports, this website was a huge success in its first few days itself. The website was launched on 22nd June’09 and received 2.06 lacs unique visitors as on 8th July’09. Well, definitely huge number of hits in a very cost effective way. A launch campaign to create an equivalent buzz if done through only a traditional media route would definitely have costed the company more.
  • Online & offline synergy: This initiative definitely proved that digital campaigns are not mere extensions of traditional ones. In fact in case of The Great Driving Challenge, the initial buzz was on online medium with actual execution being on ground – a perfect marriage between new age & traditional marketing so to say.

Overall an exemplary initiative for sure, let’s wait to hear for some statistics from Cedia to know the actual impact of this campaign.