Case Studies

#BehindCarDoors: How MSL and Renault Achieved an Ambitious Year-Long Influencer Campaign

MSL executed a brilliant year-long campaign using social media influencers to reach the Renault Scénic target customer. After winning the coveted Grand Prix award at the Influencer Marketing Awards, we look at the factors that led to the campaign’s success.

MSL took home three awards at the inaugural Influencer Marketing Awards for its work with Renault. The brave year-long campaign with just two parent influencers proved a huge success. In the case study, we break down the factors that led to the campaign’s success.

A lot of commercial pressure rested on the success of the new Renault Scénic and the brand wanted to find a way for the car to garner greater relevance with the family market. Indeed, the range incorporates a great number of features designed to enhance families’ everyday lives, and MSL needed to find a creative way to communicate these benefits. Not only that but consumer research had shown that the Scénic was low on the list of consideration for families, so the primary objective of the campaign was to achieve a shift in product perception.

MSL’s role

MSL worked with Renault to create a campaign with shareable and newsworthy content at its core, designed to resonate with the Renault Scénic target consumer (UK parents) in a real and powerful way supported by paid, owned and earned media.

Objectives and process

After uncovering the insight that car journeys are redefining the concept of family time, MSL’s strategy focused on exploring the importance of time spent together and the car as a place of honest conversations and storytelling.

Our hectic lives mean the traditional sit-down evening meal conversations are being eroded so that daily trips and weekend getaways are the only moments remaining to share stories as a family and have our children’s full attention. In effect, the car has eclipsed the dining table as the most important place for family conversations.

They set out to create an entertaining dash-cam series showcasing real life in a family car. To do this authentically, MSL enlisted the help of influential parenting Instagrammers to take part in a social experiment. All with the purpose of repositioning the car Renault Scenic as a family car.

For 12 months, the influencers Renault Scénic cars would be rigged with dash-cams to capture their warts-and-all experiences. Using MSL’s proprietary influencer identification tools, MSL’s analysis led us to choose Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) and Simon Hooper (Father of Daughters). The up-and-coming faces of parenting on Instagram, Simon, and Anna had the authority to speak in the space, offer engaged communities and most importantly provide an unfiltered look at parenting.

Moreover, the Renault Scénic fitted perfectly into their natural storyline as Anna was heavily pregnant and needed a larger car and Simon along with wife Clemmie already had four daughters to contend with.

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Content produced

In order to generate earned media coverage, MSL gathered real-life stories by surveying 2,000 parents who drive and have children aged two to 18 to build on the original campaign insight. Over half said their kids are more likely to open up about trouble with friends when mum or dad is driving and well over half of all parents instigate awkward topics such as the ‘birds and the bees’ in the car so they don’t have to engage in eye contact.

These insights allowed us to generate hard-hitting coverage across national media with titles secured including The Mirror, Sun and Telegraph.

Anna and Simon each made 12 videos across the space of a year, and were not restricted to key messages. Instead, they gave them five of the cars’ unique selling points and some treatment ideas, with no obligation to cover them. As a result, their content was highly creative and captured everything including the test run to the hospital before Anna gave birth and cloud watching out of the skylight. For Simon, this included the journey to and from the airport, the joys of cleaning out a family car and even a trip to the car wash. Most importantly, the entire campaign and the families’ use of the car fit into their lives, and content was a result of the influencers actual use of the car, rather than manufactured situations to fit key messages.

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The results

In Anna’s case, #BehindCarDoors content has encouraged higher engagement than any of her other video content, with viewers returning to watch a series they’ve come to know and love. In line with the campaign objective to improve the Scénic’s consideration as a family car, research was conducted pre- and post-campaign, which concluded:

  • 78% positive shift in purchase consideration
  • 80% said the campaign made the Renault Scenic seem different to other cards

Other results include:

  • 318% exceeded KPIs for Mother Pukka’s first piece of content
  • 1000 views in the first 60 seconds of Father of Daughters post
  • Over 230 million reached via PR with in-depth articles featured in the likes of the Mirror, Sun, and Telegraph
  • 282 thousand combined engagements for content posted by the influencers

#BehindCarDoors has not only delivered on business objectives it has also become a multi-award winning campaign. Judges from the 2019 Influencer Marketing Awards described the campaign as “brave and creative,” with one saying, “running a year-long influencer campaign to change consumers’ perspective is probably one of the most genius ideas I’ve seen.”

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Awards include:

Influencer Marketing Awards

  • Best Family and Parenting Campaign
  • Most Effective Collaboration or Partnership
  • Grand Prix

PRCA Digital Awards

  • Best Use of Social Influencers

International Content Marketing Awards

  • Best Automotive – silver winner

Why MSL succeeded

The success of this campaign hinged on the fact that it was a long term partnership between the brand and influencers rather than a quick fix. The quality of the content was born from the bravery Renault had to release control of tight brand messaging, letting the car itself sing via the authentic nature of the campaign, and the influencers themselves.

You might be interested in the annual Influencer Marketing Show, which takes place in London in October. You’ll learn from the best leaders, meet the top players leading the way in the industry, and have plenty of actionable insights to take back to the office. 

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