Top 10 Car Publicity Stunts
Car makers are in a tough industry with increased competition - especially through the internet - so those clever marketing men and women have realised that they need to evolve or become extinct. That's why, in case you haven't noticed, car manufacturers are continually using viral internet videos and publicity stunts to get some more attention thrust upon their brand.
Here are 10 of the best.
Chevrolet is quite an odd manufacturer, as it's popular in the US but about as well-favoured in Europe as SARS. So when they launch a new model, they know there needs to be one hell of a marketing campaign - and this publicity stunt worked a treat.
Dropping their Sonic small car 10,000 feet from a plane was the idea and that's exactly what they did. The stunt was filmed by several skydivers and it was made to, erm, show just how good the Sonic is in the air.
Ok, we don't get it either.
A competition to win a car is always fun, and Mercedes knew this would be a great way to get people interested in their C-Class Coupe. By playing the Escape the Map game you could win a C-Class Coupe - albeit last December - by managing to escape from Google Maps by finding some weird portal thing.
You can still play the game here - just don't expect to win the car.
SEAT thought it would be a great idea to let their consumers test drive their cars - no biggie, right? Well, this test drive was a little different, as the drivers would be able to take any of SEAT's model range and, as long as they did a video diary of their experiences, could keep it for a week.
Nice way of getting superb customer feedback!
Citroen did the Mercedes PR stunt only better. The French marque placed around 700,000 virtual DS4s around the country last year and the player who found the most either on Facebook or in real life would earn themselves a proper DS.
Technology, hide and seek and a chance to win a car - well played, Citroen.
Trident is a chewing gum company and they decided to use motoring as a fantastic PR stunt to really capture the people's imagination. For one day only they used a Ferrari F430 and a Porsche Panamera instead of their usual saloon taxis.
This meant that a few very lucky people were treated to the best taxi ride of their life.
Placing the 'Cooper' name on a weather front is an odd way of trying to get the best PR, but MINI's advertising agency, Sassenbach, thought it would be a good idea to show just how weatherproof the MINI Cooper is.
Unfortunately, the front which they labelled Cooper would turn out to be one of the most destructive and snow-filled for years. Bit of a miss this one.
The STIG is famous worldwide for his driving skills and mysterious identity, but in 2010 Top Gear stunned the world when a certain Stiggy was seen on Google's StreetView on a road near Loch Ness.
Just imagine randomly coming across this as you peruse Google's maps.
Is there a better way to promote your brand than by letting the super-stylish Italian police force use your products? Lamborghini, famous for building some of the fastest cars on the planet, gave one of their 560hp Gallardo supercars and even trained the police officers how to drive it!
Honda's badge is as recognisable as any badge in the motor industry, so why not produce a three-minute PR stunt with skydivers spelling out your 'red H' and brand name?
The efforts these companies go to sometimes is impressive.
Virgin owner and mad-man Richard Branson is no stranger to PR stunts, so when he wanted to promote himself and Virgin, he took to an amphibious car and set a new world record for the quickest passage from Dover to Calais.
Not bad, Richard.
Thank you to Louis Rix, motoring enthusiast and marketing director at Netcars.com, the UK's fastest growing used car classified website for conjuring up this great article for us!
Images courtesy of: The Location Guide, Car Throttle, Taylor Herring, Flickr, Business Pundit