American Marketer

Events / Causes

Aston Martin pushes brand exclusivity in US model reveal

August 9, 2012


British automaker Aston Martin is showing the new Vanquish model to the United States market for the first time at status events and hosting invitation-only viewings and test drives at its private estate property.

The automaker is leveraging the attraction surrounding its latest model – as seen in the successful social media campaign centered on the Vanquish – during Monterey Auto Week Aug. 15-19 in Monterey, CA. In addition, the brand is inviting select consumers to the Aston Martin Estate for private viewings and test drives of its model range.

“Aston Martin has strategically planned this launch during Monterey Auto Week to position the Vanquish in front of the who's who of the automotive world,” said Ryan Hattaway, president of Mogul Media Group, Miami. “I believe its goals and the outcome of this initiative will be generating international media coverage, taking new orders on the Vanquish and entertaining its top clients and VIPs in an exclusive environment.

“Live events build suspense, excitement and create a physical brand experience around important marketing milestones and product launches,” he said. “Purchasing a $300,000 exotic automobile is an emotional buy.

“Exclusive events are the perfect environment to engage consumers and media by allowing them to be the first to see, touch and experience the vehicle firsthand, which is when consumers are most likely to make that emotional purchase.”

Mr. Hattaway is not affiliated with Aston Martin, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Aston Martin did not respond before press deadline.

Vanquish the competition
The first U.S. showing of Aston Martin’s Vanquish will be Aug. 15 at Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center. The invitation-only annual showcase event draws affluent consumers during the evening before Monterey Auto Week begins.

The Vanquish Aug. 17 will be featured at Quail: A Motorsports Gathering at Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club.

The model will also be shown Aug. 19 at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin will host select guests Aug 18-19 at the Aston Martin Estate in Carmel, CA.

Aston Martin Estate

Events will be held at the estate such as private viewings of the Vanquish for existing customers with the automaker’s design director Marek Reichman and test drives of Aston Martin’s range.

Aston Martin will also give its consumers the opportunity to interact with its partner brands at the estate. These include Davidoff, Jaeger LeCoultre, Louis Roederer, Lugano Diamonds, Timothy Oulton, Vizio and William Grant & Sons.

Aston Martin is raising awareness for the Vanquish prior to its first deliveries of the vehicle in the U.S. scheduled for early 2013. It is priced starting at $279,995.

“The Monterey Auto Week event is a great backdrop to unveil the new Aston Martin Vanquish,” said Karen Kreamer, president of K2 Brand Consulting, Overland Park, KS. “I am sure the event will attract a good number of sports car enthusiasts keenly interested in the artistry and performance of a new Aston Martin vehicle.

“While Aston Martin has a rich legacy and solid brand awareness, this type of launch event can generate excitement and help established brands stay relevant and current,” she said.


Where it all started
Aston Martin started to hype the Vanquish model in June on social media where it saw a more than 100 percent increase in visitors to its Web site from social channels among users in Germany, the U.S. and its home country.

The digital campaign that spanned Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Aston Martin Web site began June 20 and centered on a digital car configurator, images and a video.

Aston Martin recorded June 20-22 as its three-highest traffic days on its global Web site. It saw the average number of daily visitors to the site double in the first seven days of the Vanquish campaign, per the brand.

As compared with the same period seven days earlier, the automaker saw a 216-percent increase in visitors to the site from the German market. There were also 162 percent, 102 percent and 81 percent increases in visits from consumers in Britain, the U.S. and China, respectively.

Also, the YouTube video called “Aston Martin Vanquish – A Bold New Breed of Aston Martin” got more than 200,000 views since its June 20 release. This is the fastest-growing video the brand has produced to date (see story).

While Aston Martin's social media strategy created awareness among a mass audience, its live unveiling of the Vanquish will be targeted to the consumers who have the means to purchase the car.

“The market for a quarter-million-dollar automobile is relatively small, so a highly-targeted exclusive event is an effective way to reach potential customers and brand admirers,” Ms. Kreamer said.

“Part of the Aston Martin brand fiber is the sheer exclusivity of its products – you just do not see them on the road every day,” she said. “A live event provides a unique opportunity to personally experience the legendary craftsmanship and performance of the Aston Martin brand.”

In addition, inviting select consumers to experience the vehicle before it is available to the public will likely give Aston Martin a boost in the minds of attendees.

“Revealing the Vanquish at a major international automotive event is similar to a fashion designer launching a new collection during Fashion Week,” Mogul Media Group’s Mr. Hattaway said. “You have the opportunity to showcase your product in front of a very targeted audience of buyers and generate exponentially more media coverage than by creating a standalone event.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York