To promote Mercedes Smart cars to Russians (who like driving big cars), BBDO Russia actively proved to potential customers the benefits of having a smaller vehicle.
Many Russians get towed on weekend shopping trips for parking illegally; and the traffic is also notoriously bad in the city. So in March Smart offered free rides to those stranded by having their vehicles towed -- getting them to take a test drive without requesting one, and see what a difference having a small car makes when parking is scarce and traffic heavy.
623 car-less drivers were rescued during three days. The agency encouraged people to thank the Smart brand on social media, while blogs and news portals picked up on the stories and test drives increased 10 fold. Sales increased by 300% in the two weeks following the event.
The campaign is the latest in a slew of intelligent test drive campaigns we've seen. Chevrolet's "Rescue Drives" partnered with a towing company to send cars to drivers when their own vehicles broke down, while MINI turned its cars into stores in Paris so people could take test drives from anywhere.