October 31, 2014
British automaker Aston Martin is bringing its latest designs around the United Kingdom on the "Ultimate Evolution Tour."
Aston Martin will drive around the country hosting events at various dealers to showcase its new additions and the brand has created a hashtag for fans to snap photos of the tour’s trucks and post them to Instagram and Twitter. This digital and physical tour will raise awareness of the new vehicles in Aston Martin’s line-up and highlight the innovation of the brand in 2014.
"This campaign is pretty good because it relies centrally and wholly on the Aston Martin brand, it doesn’t borrow interest," said Rob Frankel, branding expert at marketing consultancy firm Frankel & Anderson, Los Angeles.
"The car is the star," he said. "That is rare in the branding and the marketing world. You have a purity of the brand, they are making a statement that the brand is valuable on its own, by doing that they are giving credibility, 'We don’t need celebrities, here the brand.'"
Mr. Frankel is not affiliated with Aston Martin, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Aston Martin did not respond by press deadline.
Follow the tour
The Ultimate Evolution Tour will center on the DP-100, Vantage N430 road and race cars and the 2015 Vanquish and Rapide S.
DP-100 was created for Gran Turismo 6, a racing game for PlayStation 3. The automobile that is touring the U.K. is the only full-sized version of the vehicle.
In addition, the Vanquish and Rapide S will be on the tour showcasing the new generation of AM29 V12 engines and eight-speed Touchtronic III transmission. Both models can reach over 200 mph. The Rapide S is a four-door sports car while the Vanquish has the greatest performance numbers ever reached by Aston Martin.
Ultimate Evolution Tour truck
Also, the Vantage N430 will join the tour and to showcase the new model of the V8 Vantage series.
The tour is completely booked, but since the tour is traveling via truck, fans who spot the caravan are asked to take a photo and upload it to social media. The photo should include the hashtag #UltimateEvo for Aston Martin to see the image and potentially retweet or repost the picture.
Social media posts for the tour
On the event’s page on Aston Martin’s Web site, there is section dedicated to images from fans on Instagram and Twitter.
The brand also created a social video for the Ultimate Evolution Tour that briefly highlights the new Vanquish.
Automakers often present various tours to their consumers and usually let owners drive with the brand.
For instance, Italian automaker Maserati brought its centennial celebration to the United States to build more brand unity.
The tour stopped in key U.S. cities and the brand expects more than 100 owners to attend each rally. Branded events often act as the glue that holds consumers loyal to a brand, especially when the events attract like-minded people who can share their passion (see story).
However, these tours often exclude aspiring consumers from participating, likely the reason Aston Martin has created a hashtag around its traveling effort.
This summer Veuve Clicquot had a similar campaign when it sent a branded truck around the United States and encouraged individuals to send hand-written letters to friends and family.
People who saw the truck in transit were encouraged to upload pictures to Instagram and tag the brand’s handle. The brand is also using the hashtag #ClicquotMail to encourage fans to post on social media (see story).
Creating an event that includes the entire fan base through social media and in-person events allows brands to reach everyone.
"It is going to revitalize the mystique and reinforce the grandeur of the Aston Martin brand," Mr. Frankel said.
"It is one of those things if people are capturing sighting, it works well with social media, it is like taking selfie with a celeb at an event, it lets them identify and participate," he said.
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York