With self-isolation having become the norm due to the COVID-19 outbreak, staying connected online is now the default way to stay in touch and keep communicating with colleagues, friends and family. There has also been the inevitable surge in social media interaction with it providing an authentic, entertaining and visual way to engage.
From Tik Tok challenges, to Zoom backgrounds there have been some interesting and novel online trends that have developed over the last couple of weeks. In the spirit of community and support there have also been some interesting collaborations and ideas created by the automotive brands, an industry that is obviously severely affected by the lockdown. There is a clear focus on user generated content (UGC) as it provides a powerful way to engage audiences with authentic content.
We thought it would be interesting to take a look across the automotive industry and see who is doing what and why.
Porsche Instagram Campaign: #DreamsAreMadeAtHome
On the 29th of March, Porsche launched their #DreamsAreMadeAtHome campaign, encouraging people all over the world to use the hashtag and share images of “the garages that their cars call home”. The images could be of any car and any brand, the purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness that we are all in this together.
It didn’t take long for other automotive brands to start participating with their own images. To name a few, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi shared images of a garage door opening to reveal their cars, whereas, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Lexus shared images of their cars in open garages.
Stay at Home Messages
Many brands, not just automotive brands, are promoting campaigns with the message to stay at home.
DS Auto, have a wonderful campaign not only encouraging people to stay at home but to sanitise too, they have also shared short videos of their employees adapting to the changes of their working environments using #StayHome, to view these videos, visit their Instagram here.
Fiat, along with promoting staying at home are also reassuring customers that they are there. Bringing optimism to the forefront of their posts, using #NoiCiSiamo.
Much like the Dreams Are Made At Home campaign a couple of automotive brands are using #DrivewayViews to encourage and engage people during this period. Ford, shared an image of a driveway showing 3 generations of the Mustang with the caption “Better together.”
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Vauxhall, have also shared an image of a Corsa in a driveway encouraging people to get involved by sharing their driveway images via DM.
Social Media Challenges
All the above campaigns require a car in order to participate, however, there is also great content being posted by automotive brands that don’t require you to have a car to get involved.
Such as Vauxhall’s Park the Corsa-E or Find the Easter Bunny Challenges. Can you park the Corsa-E?
Toyota and Dacia, have shared colouring in challenges, as well as Mercedes-Benz and AMG who have also encouraged people to share their completed artworks online using #coloryouramg and #coloryourbenz.
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These Mercedes-AMG GT3s are looking fast! Well done everyone and thank you for sharing your art works with us! Don’t forget to color your AMG as you always wanted & present your artwork with the hashtag #coloryourAMG for your chance to be featured! mb4.me/kidsartwork Photos: @monkey87miao, @aerx_rezvani, @monkey87miao, @yashchaware, @medanixrd, @mellacecotti #DrivingPerformance #StayHome #StayHealthy #GT3 #coloryourbenz @MercedesBenz
These campaigns provide the perfect opportunity for audiences to stay informed, stay engaged, and stay safe. Overall they feel fresh and different to the usual Automotive Instagram or Twitter channel, which tend to focus on reused marketing imagery which often rings a little hollow compared to so much of the vibrant, authentic content found on social platforms created by audiences.
It will be interesting in the coming months to see how the auto brands continue to market themselves in the backdrop of Covid-19 and impact it is having on day-to-day life. We expect an acceleration of the push into online eCommerce models and wider use of tools like virtual showrooms. The challenge will be in how to maintain the human relationship aspect of car buying, with so much typically taking place in a physical dealership. We believe that the use of content like UGC in campaigns is a great way to create a more emotional, human connection with customers and it will be interesting to see how it continues to be embraced as a marketing tactic in the future.