7 Best Automotive Marketing Campaign Examples

7 Best Automotive Marketing Campaign Examples

Whether you’re selling cars, insurance or even petrol, knowing how to stand out in a competitive marketplace and engage consumers isn’t an easy feat. Automotive marketers often have to think outside the box to show off their latest product or to get the brand awareness they need to perform.

As an award-winning automotive SEO agency, we’ve rounded up some of the best (not always for the right reasons) marketing and advertising campaigns by automotive brands.

The 7 Best Automotive Marketing Campaign Examples

1.   Mercedes Benz Chicken – When No Car Sells a Car

To launch their ‘Magic Body Control’, a new feature that promised increased stability in the new S-Class, Mercedes used chickens. The advert, which is just under a minute long, never once shows the car, but instead the chickens move around to the track of Diana Ross singing her hit single “Upside Down.”

The use of the chicken here is clever, as a chicken’s head never moves if the body moves around. It’s designed to demonstrate how you’d feel if you drove the S-Class, with the car taking on all of the movement from the road. While this ad is over 10 years old now, the visual of the chicken moving around has made this one of the most memorable car adverts that doesn’t show a car out there.

2.   Just Sold My Car – We Buy Any Car

Featuring TikTok star and musician Mufasa, this We Buy Any Car advert is incredibly catchy and uses the Friday remix that Mufasa himself featured on. The reason this campaign was so successful was that it not only featured a well-known character, but other variants of the advert featured genuine customer experiences and the shared joy they felt once they’d sold to their car to We Buy Any Car (catchy, right?)

3.   Compare the Meerkat

One of the best things that came out of 2009 was Aleksander the Meerkat. Compare the Meerkat was launched as an ad campaign but rapidly became a standalone commercial success. Originally, the campaign launched with a TV advert and a website designed to help you compare meerkats.

7 Best Automotive Marketing Campaign Examples

You could choose a size, hobby and location of the Meerkat at which an image would be generated for you showing you the meerkat you had found.

From a Simples start, the Compare the Meerkat campaign soon had a book, cuddly toys and so much more that. In 2024, Alexsandr is still part of many advertising campaigns for Compare the Market, but the Compare the Meerkat side of the campaign has gone.

The Compare the Meerkat campaign is hugely memorable for many people of a certain age, and the memories of spending time after school comparing meerkats and exploring the world of Aleksandr and his family is still synonymous with Compare the Market.

4.   Toyota – It’s a Trap!

Potentially one of the most bizarre car commercials ever, the ‘It’s a Trap!’ commercial from Toyota was successful across the world. Featuring a conventionally attractive woman by the open hood of a Toyota Corolla, the advert plays on the reliability of the Corolla by showing two men driving past who don’t stop to offer help to the woman. When the male passenger asks the driver why he doesn’t stop he responds, “it’s a trap, have you ever seen a broken-down Toyota Corolla?” At this point the camera swings to show the woman pulling her face off to reveal a male villain character.

Released in 1997 to coincide with the news that the Corolla was the most popular car of that year, the advert began in Puerto Rico but quickly expanded across the globe.

5.   BP’s Carbon Footprint PR Stunt

The term “carbon footprint” was never pioneered by a climate change activist or environmental group. Instead, one of the biggest polluters, BP (British Petroleum), released a carbon footprint calculator to show how the consumer was impacting the amount of carbon released into the world.

Prior to this campaign from BP, the term carbon footprint wasn’t used, and hadn’t applied to consumers either. Nowadays, it’s everywhere. In terms of a marketing campaign’s success, having a word become part of our everyday lexicon is a marketer’s dream. However, in this scenario, it’s easy to see how a large oil conglomerate has successfully pushed the blame and responsibility of climate change onto our individual buying habits.

A successful marketing campaign? Absolutely. A marketing campaign created for the right reason? Absolutely not.  

6.   Lotus Eletre – A Portal to the Future

In a two-tone advert, Lotus launched the Lotus Eletre. The Eletre is a world-first electric Hyper-SUV and the advert matches the tone and feel of the car. It also denotes a new step in the Lotus history into their electric era.

The simple colours mixed with powerful music and spoken word help to produce an ad that moves away from roaring engines and petrol to one where the car itself does the talking.

7.   Cazoo Yeah You Can!

Cazoo is a challenger online car dealership, set up to rival platforms such as Autotrader. They offer cars that are vetted and checked by mechanics before being sold and are delivered straight to your house. Cazoo used an interesting marketing tactic to help increase brand awareness which was their catchphrase “Cazoo yeah you can.”

Long story short, no one has figured out what “Cazoo yeah you can” actually means. It’s got people talking about the brand, even if it is tinged with confusion.

Are you looking to create an automotive digital marketing campaign that gets people talking?

Here at MRS, we’ve won awards for our work with automotive companies and those operating in the automotive industry. Why not see what our automotive SEO or PPC services could do for you? Get in touch.

Look who’s talking…

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