Aussie car brand Holden is rolling out a raft of marketing and branding this week as part of its transformation, as it aims to tackle poor perceptions of the brand and drive sales.
Natalie Davey, GM of marketing communications and digital, tells AdNews the approach shows the “confidence and optimism” Holden has in its new models and its transformation strategy.
Holden is claiming the marketing is “ground-breaking” and Davey says the approach is “significantly different” to anything the brand has done before, although it takes on the familiar testimonial approach using the unscripted responses of real consumers.
The brand says the marketing and ads are set to “redefine” Holden’s 160-year heritage for modern Australia. Holden’s challenge is reasserting the place the brand has in the hearts and minds of Australian consumers since it announced that it would move all manufacture offshore from next year. Holden sales were down 4.6% in June, according to VFacts.
The ad for the new Colorado is based on content filmed as part of an experiential activation which invited drivers of rival vehicles to test drive a Holden truck at its pop up ‘Truck Swap’. As part of it, Holden gave a tradie a brand new Colorado truck if her agreed to trade in his Toyota Hilux.
Davey says the testimonial, and real-footage style approach was chosen because it shows the brand is “authentic, real and approachable”.
Another of the ads shows a group of unsuspecting consumers an un-badged Holden, and asks them to guess which auto brand it is after explore the features and design. The suggestions come rolling in that it could be a Citroen or a Renault, only for the brand to reveal the car is in fact a Holden Astra – much to the surprise of the consumers.
It’s the first time Holden has overtly referenced its competitors in ads, and again Davey says doing so reflects the brand’s confidence.
Part of Holden’s marketing push is to reach an audience beyond tradies, and while lot of Australians do love the brand and have an affinity for it, Davey says the company knew it had to “hold up a mirror and make some changes”.
In line with that effort, Holden has also partnered with Flume for the soundtrack to the ad, which Davey claims sums up the positivity around the brand. Earlier this week the car brand revealed a partnership with Pandora to co-host a warehouse party event, as part of its efforts to connect with younger audience.
The ads were created by AJF partnership, and activity will roll out across TV digital and social.
The campaign follows the launch of ‘Carstodians’ in July , which saw a line-up of five Australian ambassadors sign on to promote the brand. Actors Mathew Le Nevez and Claudia Karvan, chef and restaurateur Luke Nguyhen, pro-surfer Nikki Van Dijk and fashion entrepreneur Jane Lu will feature in future ad campaigns and promotions. Holden has also updated its branding and logo with the previously all upper-case brand name dropping back to lower case, and the lion logo getting a polish and update.
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