BERLIN - Smart car advertising is undergoing a major revision in Germany.
Campaigns for the tiny two-seat city car have been targeted at lifestyle-oriented customers. But the Smart is being bought by people from all social backgrounds, and advertising is being modified to reflect this.
A new Smart campaign has been created by Springer & Jacoby, the Hamburg agency that is also responsible for Mercedes-Benz passenger car advertising in Germany.
Smart's former agency, Weber Hodel Schmid in Biel, Switzerland, focused its advertising on a closely-targeted group of trendy young customers. The Weber Hodel Schmid slogan - 'Reduce to the max' - will be dropped and replaced by just one word: 'Smart.'
'We have the great advantage that in this case the brand name, the core message and the claim are identical: Smart,' said Springer & Jacoby spokesman Manfred Schuller. 'We want to appeal to people from all social classes.'
Springer & Jacoby's advertising strategy for Smart was chosen over rival ideas from Weber Hodel Schmid, Start (Munich), KNSK/BBDO (Hamburg) and Scholz & Friends (Frankfurt).
The new Smart campaign also stresses what Springer & Jacoby sees as the car's unique selling points - emotional appeal, compact handling, safety, design and fuel economy.
Springer & Jacoby is also producing a separate campaign to promote used Smarts.
The budget for the new German campaign was not disclosed. It will run until December, while the used-car campaign will carry on until spring 2001.
The new campaign is also designed to prepare German consumers for the launch of Smart as a multi-product-brand. A Smart roadster and roadster-coupe will be launched in 2002, and a four-door/four-seat model will be introduced in 2003.
'We have to establish the Smart name as a car brand and simultaneously pave the way for a growing product family,' said Jurgen Fahr, a member of the DaimlerChrysler sales organization responsible for Mercedes-Benz and Smart sales. 'Therefore, we have to develop the product name into a brand name.'