Suzuki's Journey with Saturday Night Takeaway and Ant & Dec

Challenge

The Suzuki Vitara is an SUV that packs a boot-load of fun for every drive, with brand values being 'friendly, lively and sociable'. But with the launch of an all-new model, in a crowded and predictable car marketing environment, we had to help Vitara cut through the noise to compete with its competitors.

Insight

We needed to bring Suzuki's sense of fun, emotion and zing to the party! In conjunction the7Stars, we developed a multi layered campaign that was streets ahead of stereotypical car advertising. Placing Suzuki at the heart of ITV's family entertainment would amplify the brand's story in an innovative and creative way.

Idea

Suzuki would drive sales by recruiting Ant & Dec to its dealer sales team in TV commercials, alongside sponsoring Saturday Night Take Away (a.k.a. SNTA) in the run up to the important March car registrations.

Here was a perfect fit: personality, energy and self-deprecating humour.

Working with Ant & Dec, and their own writers and production team, we created 10, 30 second commercials, using SNTA IP, along with longer-form video seeded across social channels. This would be Ant & Dec's only talent partnership for the year, producing unprecedented contextual advertising.

Implementation

The 10, 30 second commercials included: Ant vs Dec, where they joined 'Little Ant & Dec' to take on head-to-head challenges, such as popping balloons in Vitaras; Chat Nav, where Ant & Dec secretly voiced a spoof live Sat Nav; and I'm A Salesperson, Get Out of my Ear, where the boys hid in a backroom, voicing silly commands into earpieces of Suzuki sales people, getting them to sniff tyres, jump through driver windows and lie on bonnets.

The spots were aired across top-rating entertainment shows including Ninja Warriors, Take Me Out and Britain's Got Talent.

Each new copy was teased out Saturday afternoons on Twitter, using 10" highlight versions, whilst longer versions and behind-the-scenes footage were seeded on YouTube and Facebook platforms. The entire 10 film series including SNTA & Ant & Dec branding, also went on tour to 15 UK shopping centres on the Suzuki promo roadshows.

Sponsorship of Saturday Night Take Away also promoted #suzukisaturdays, along with the Ant & Dec talent partnership. This is the first time SNTA in-show features and IP had been used a commercial partnership, whilst SNTA & Ant & Dec branding was used widely across Suzuki's dealership and communications, ultimately combining the Vitara, Ant & Dec and SNTA brands seamlessly.

Results

The #SuzukiSaturdays campaign was 2016's most watched online car ad with over 3million views.

Positive opinion shifted from 9% (Dec '15) to 14% (Apr '16), viewer brand consideration was 44% (Vitara's highest ever), and sponsorship awareness (unprompted and prompted) was the highest of any other car.

Importantly... the car sold fast:

  • 70% increase in enquiry rates
  • 83% registrations up on previous year (April to September)
  • 30% ahead of sales rate forecast
  • 15% Jan to Aug Suzuki total car registrations were up 15% yr/yr vs the total market up only 3%. Source: SMMT car registrations 2016

This campaign was very different to our usual, and it was a huge decision to go with it but I’m very glad we did. The return we’ve had is more than we would ever have hoped for.

Dale Wyatt , Sales & Marketing Director, Suzuki