Hyundai, Kia and other Asian brands were making a dent in Chevrolet’s sales funnel. Chevrolet as a brand had been always the first option, not only for its quality products but also because of impactful strategies with the target, like the Chevrolet University back in 2003, a school for cab drivers that generated brand love significantly.
Still, Chevrolet as a brand was determined to keep using its motto of Find New Roads and increase sales with this important segment.
The challenge was set: Carat needed to increase its taxis sales by at least 5% vs previous months and re-build brand love indicators.
The target was current cab drivers and fleet cab entrepreneurs, Mid-high Socio economical level individuals, 25-44 years-old looking to buy a taxi in following months. It was a specific segment to reach, with particular cultural traits.
In order to find a relevant insight, the agency studied its urban environment. It found that in Colombia taxi drivers were stigmatised. For most bogotanos, Cab Drivers are considered a "public enemy", mainly because of their strength as a group. They truly are a united group but unfortunately, they have overused that power and have ended up being perceived as an imposing force that ignores the greater good. Aside from that, some cab drivers were behaving carelessly with very low service standards (dirty cars, loud music while on duty, etc).
Making things worse, user platforms like Uber had generated widespread discontent among cab drivers, to the point that there had been bursts of violence against Uber drivers. It has only fuelled those negative perceptions.
But as in life, oversimplifications are unfair. And there, lied the insight: Because of some bad apples, many hard working people are treated unjustly.
Most cab drivers are responsible, tireless individuals; family oriented people who deserve recognition for a job well done. Bogota’s chaotic traffic surely needs them. So Carat agreed on the insight that taxi drivers were not recognised for their hard work, but still, they certainly expected the city to acknowledge them.
Having understood the problem, the agency spotted an opportunity: turn villains into heroes. It devised the campaign Heroes de la Calle (Street Heroes): A series of events to celebrate the unsung heroes of Colombian Cities.
It started off distributing original content with cab drivers real stories in their day-to-day life. It used media touchpoints that research showed as the most relevant for them: free newspapers, social media and radio. For the first time in many years, a brand was acknowledging cab drivers work in mass media. Free newspapers were delivered with special formats, where the concept of "Street Heroes" became tangible. It radically dignified their daily work and highlighted the importance of their work. See link here. These actions helped win their trust.
Once it established the brand point of view, it announced the Heroes De La Calle Bash: Using music preferences data from radio partners in key cities (Tropicana, one of the most popular radio stations for cab drivers in Colombia) the agency developed a band list that talked to the target’s musical taste. It used Radio as the key medium to tell drivers about the event. Through sections, remote and promos, it invited them to this free exclusive concert, where the new line of taxis was finally launched.
The streets, being the heroes’ natural habitat, were used as key stages for the campaign. In city landmarks, the brand invited them to be a part of the event and its derived activations.
Carat got them through Facebook and Twitter where they shared opinions and interacted with their peers. Two graphic pieces were promoted. Twitter was exclusively used for mobile. An alliance with Tappsi (a local Uber type of app developed for cab drivers) helped reach taxi drivers through banners and messages in a targeted way.
The "Street Heroes" campaign delivered on all its goals: the client saw an 8% increase in official registrations number (client’s key sales metric) right after its launching. And after a month, it witnessed sustained success, increasing sales by 15.8 % in Q4, compared to 2015 Q1 and Q2.
The campaign helped re-connect the brand with taxi drivers throughout the nation. Beyond sales, the target showed a renewed interest in the brand. Chevrolet was giving credit to a defamed social segment, full of hard working people. Once again it was clear that in most cases, all you need is love.