June 29, 2012
British automaker Aston Martin chose digital to market its new Vanquish model and saw a more than 100 percent increase in visitors to its Web site from social media channels among users in Germany, the United States and its home country.
The digital campaign that spanned Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Aston Martin Web site began June 20 and centered on a digital car configurator, images and a video. The automaker saw the highest traffic on its Web site ever recorded during the first three days of the campaign.
"Luxury automotive brands have communities of people that are incredibly passionate about their product,” said Jenn Heinen, associate director of social strategies at Morpheus Media, New York.
“Leveraging any kind of community-driven platform makes perfect sense to distribute content to a group of people who are already engaged with a product and lifestyle,” she said.
“Especially with more niche communities, the excitement and eagerness to interact with this kind of content makes social platforms all the more impactful for content syndication.”
Aston Martin declined comment.
One for the books
Aston Martin recorded June 20-22 as its three highest traffic days on its global Web site at http://www.astonmartin.com. It saw the average number of daily visitors to the site double in the first seven days of the Vanquish campaign, per the brand.
As compared with the same period seven days earlier, the automaker saw a 216 percent increase in visitors to the site from the German market. There were also 162 percent, 102 percent and 81 percent increases in visits from consumers in Britain, the U.S. and China, respectively.
The brand on June 20 posted a link to the Vanquish section of its Web site as well as a picture of the new Vanquish model to its Facebook Timeline. It wrote “Aston Martin unveils its new hero.”
On that same day, the automaker updated its Timeline cover photo and posted the Vanquish YouTube video and a link to the online configurator at http://www.astonmartin.com/en/cars/vanquish/configure.
Aston Martin Facebook page
Aston Martin reposted the link to its site and its Vanquish images multiple times throughout the first day.
The automaker released one new Vanquish image per day for the first few days of the campaign. An image posted June 22 got more than 24,000 ‘likes,’ the most for any of the brand’s Facebook images to date.
Image posted on June 22
Aston Martin received more than 4,000 new ‘likes’ for its Facebook page on the first day of the Vanquish campaign.
“Aston Martin is using social the right way here,” said Vic Drabicky, a New York-based luxury and premium brand digital strategist. “It is giving fans a reason to interact with its Facebook page on a daily basis with fresh content.
“Facebook in itself is not powerful, it is only powerful if you use it correctly,” he said. “When luxury brands use Facebook correctly, meaning they are actively engaging users with fresh, valuable content on a regular basis, then Facebook gives advertisers a free, easy way to connect with a huge group of brand enthusiasts.
"There is no other medium which facilitates this nearly as well as Facebook.”
Meanwhile, the automaker also took its heavy push of the Vanquish to Twitter where it posted similar content, but with the hashtag #Vanquish. All of the links posted led to photos and the configurator on the Aston Martin Web site as well as the YouTube video.
The automaker’s Twitter follow rate doubled during the three first days of the campaign, per Aston Martin.
The YouTube video called “Aston Martin Vanquish – A Bold New Breed of Aston Martin” got more than 200,000 views since its June 20 release. This is the fastest-growing video the brand has produced to date.
June 21, the video was ranked as one of the top 50 YouTube videos worldwide.
Aston Martin Vanquish – A Bold New Breed of Aston Martin
Digital success story
Other luxury automakers have recently seen success from an online campaign.
For instance, Lexus’ online campaign for the U.S. Open tournament that included digital advertisements and a virtual golf game was expected to see more than 100 million impressions and 100 million social media ad impressions, according to the game organizers.
The U.S. Open’s Web site featured interactive ads from the brand and a free golf game called Virtual U.S. Open that looked like the course where the tournament took place. Lexus took this opportunity to push the RX F Sport via these efforts (see story).
Though Aston Martin took a social approach, both of these success stories prove that there is a large group of consumers online who are interested in luxury automakers.
“I think it shows that if you engage your audience in the right way with valuable content, they will pay attention and respond,” Mr. Drabicky said. “Luxury brands are often too scared to venture into the social media space, but when done correctly, it will build your brand and invigorate your true brand fans and loyalists.”
In addition, Aston Martin’s video was probably the most effective part of the campaign because it shows the car in action, per Max Sebela, senior social strategist at Morpheus Media, New York.
“The Vanquish is an iconic automobile not just in Aston Martin's history, but in luxury culture, in general,” Mr. Sebela said. “Consumers, luxury or not, drool over the Vanquish for its looks and for its performance.
“Car enthusiasts want to see automobiles doing what they are built to do – go fast,” he said. “Finding creative ways to set these vehicles in motion, whether it be through animation, video or augmented reality, is necessary to get results.
“A static image of a car, while beautiful, does not get at why people are interested in cars in the first place.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York