Alfa Romeo UK unleashed a Web-media blitz earlier this month to attract younger buyers to its newest model.
The Internet will be massive in terms of our advertising campaign, Damien Dally, marketing operations manager at Alfa Romeo in the UK, told Automotive News Europe.
Dally wants to create a whole new generation of Alfa Romeo drivers who are young and can grow up with the Alfa brand.
Another reason the automaker is targeting 30-somethings is because older car buyers in the UK remain skeptical about the brand because many past models have offered poor quality and reliability. The brand placed 31st out of 33 brands in J.D. Power and Associations 2007 US customer satisfaction survey. Alfa was not included in the 2008 survey because of its small sample size.
The Mito is the Fiat subsidiarys first small-segment car. The automaker believes that the best way to appeal to under-35 car buyers is through online media.
Alfa is using an online racing competition and a new Web advertising tactic to increase the Mitos exposure.
Dally declined to reveal the amount Alfa will spend to market the car in the UK, but he said that a significant percentage of the total spend for the country will go toward online ads and promotions.
An online Mito racing game (www.mymitorally.co.uk) launched on February 6.
Participants can e-mail their fastest lap times to rival gamers and everyone who plays has a chance to compete to win a real Mito at the end of the 12 week launch period, which is at the end of April.
The game also helps highlight one of the Mitos most innovative features, the so-called DNA control which lets drivers choose between three different programs for throttle and steering resonse and suspension stiffness.
Another way Alfa plans to reach its target buyers is by having banner ads on 95 percent of total available online media. The so-called roadblock also started on February 6.
Well be on thousands or even tens of thousands of Web sites, said Dally at the cars UK press presentation last month. Were talking telephone numbers [in the multimillions] when it comes to the number of people who will be exposed [to the campaign].
The Web sites that are being targeted in the UK campaign include popular destinations such as eBay, YouTube and Amazon as well as movie and music listings sites and numerous other pages.
Dally says Alfa will still air TV commercials, adapted from the pan-European campaign. The online racing game was developed by ad agency Mediaedge:cia (MEC), which is part of WPP.