Chevrolet's digitally-led campaign on YouTube to support the launch of its new Captiva SUV in Europe has over performed against the main targets the American car brand set itself at kick-off roughly one month ago. The first wave of videos highlighting the capabilities of the Captiva SUV delivered over 200 million impressions and attracted more than 5 million video views.
The short films, called Chevrolet Captiva Life Test, capture the benefits and spirit of the Captiva SUV through unexpected, humorous scenarios. They are created by a select group of highly popular YouTube users. These include DigitalRev TV, the world's most popular photography video platform with over 600,000 subscribers, and Secretos de Chicas, a young woman from Spain who shares her latest make-up and styling secrets from the front passenger seat of the versatile Chevrolet Captiva.
"The campaign marks the first-ever automotive OEM branded multi-market content partnership with YouTube content creators. We are very happy with how it has kicked off and are looking forward to more of those original, inspiring videos to go online in the near future," said Beate Stumpe, Director of Brand and Marketing, Chevrolet Europe.
Maneuvering a driverless SUV
With an eye-catching design, powerful yet efficient engines and versatility – from all-wheel drive, to room for up to seven passengers or 942 liters of luggage space – the Captiva SUV is "Ready for Everything" when it comes to the demands of modern, adventure-seeking drives.
To prove this, Rob J. Mardin, better known to millions of YouTube viewers and fans by his stage name Brett Domino, and Arduino, the creators of an open-source electronics prototyping platform, came up with their own unique idea for a Life Test.
A musician, comedian and internet celebrity, Brett Domino plays covers, medleys and original songs on various obscure instruments. Brett has been featured on BBC Radio 1 and ITV's Britain's Got Talent and his YouTube videos have received 15 million views. His band, the Brett Domino Trio, consists of two people: himself and Steven Peaves (Ste Anderson).
In what looks set to rank among the band's most unorthodox performances yet, the musician will maneuver a driverless Captiva, directing the SUV's movements through an electric keyboard and other instruments. At the heart of the undertaking are Arduino Uno and Due microcontrollers that convert signals from the musical instruments into commands which are transferred to the throttle, steering wheel and brakes through compatible digital servo motors.
Brett Domino's videos will be posted on YouTube end of August, coinciding with the launch of the campaign in Germany, Switzerland and France.
At the same time, Chevrolet will present another set of Life Test videos produced by Dr. Allwissend, a Berlin-born comedian, who created his YouTube channel in 2011 as a creative hobby, and today operates three YouTube channels. In his customary offbeat, ironic manner, Dr. Allwissend will put the Chevrolet Captiva through its paces and elicit smiles and amusement among his audience along the way.
Inspired by the early success of the campaign, Chevrolet also brought on board longtime partner MOFILM, a global community of filmmakers specializing in branded storytelling, to further extend on the Captiva Life Test campaign. Five film makers and their crews will run 24 hour challenges with the Captiva across Europe and document their experiences in short films. The first web videos will be released in early August.
Global strategic partnership with Google
The Chevrolet Captiva campaign is the direct result of the global strategic partnership between Chevrolet and Google. The combination of a pan-European digitally-led launch of a new car placed in the hands of YouTube content creators represents a first in the OEM automotive space.
Viewers can join the conversation in multiple ways on the Chevrolet Europe Facebook page, Instagram and on Twitter using the hashtags #Captiva and #LifeTest. In addition to digital media, Chevrolet is making use of Out of Home and above the line advertising, in selected markets, to drive traffic for the campaign.
Previous Chevrolet-Google brand initiatives include the award-winning "Firsts" campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic (Aveo) in the U.S.
To roll out the campaign across Europe, Chevrolet is working with its two global lead agencies: Commonwealth (Milan) for creative and coordination and Carat (London) for media.