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Marketing Deconstructed: SMART “Offroad” Commercial

Recently I had an idea for a blog, the idea was to deconstruct adverts and marketing campaigns, how they fit into the brand they’re promoting, their success or otherwise and reaction to them, I was going to call the blog marketingreconstructed.com but the URL was taken. Then I remembered I had a perfectly good blog here I wasn’t using nearly enough, so here is my new feature, in fact my only feature: Marketing Deconstructed.

Up first: SMART and their new “Offroad” campaign:

What are they trying to do?

Well it seems from the advert they are trying to do two things, 1) Establish the brand as quirky, funny and self depreciating, they want to be seen as different from the rest of the slightly po faced car industry, this sits well with who they are and the products they make and undoubtedly touches their target consumer who is going to be an independent thinker. 2) Demonstrate why you should buy a SMART car in a clever way: This is easier said than done and I think they’ve done a really good job. First off, they could have taken an eco road, but if I really want an eco car I will buy a hybrid and there is a lot of competition there, they could also have played on size and some kind of “bigger than you expect” angle, but the SMART four2 isn’t new, it’s been around 10 years or so now, so that wouldn’t cut through. The approach they took, poke fun at the 4×4 industry is good.

Did they succeed?

I think it’s too early to say, but to me it ticks all the right boxes, it’s cute, clever, and smart (pun intended). Sure this will get some backlash from the serious car owners and the 4×4 types but that’s good, they’ve taken a deliberate viewpoint here and people who buy a Smart are not going to be 4×4 converts anyway but they are the type who hates Chelsea tractors)

What could be better?

The TVC spot is great it broadly hit all the right notes for me, they’re could have been a longer, funnier, uncut version for social media and online that really takes the concept up a notch and they could take this into other areas: sports cars (imagine one of these on the Nurburgring!) However the SMART website and digital channels don’t seem to be carrying the same message or amplifying it, they also seem underwhelming as a whole which is a shame, if I’ve seen this video and then go to their .com page to find out more the same narrative should continue instead I am met with an old fashioned and very serious site.

Scores on the doors?

I give this an 8/10, it could have been a 9 or even 10 if the integration was better across digital and if they had taken it a bit further with other videos.

What do you think?