The Barina nameplate has been in the Holden range for many years. The company wanted to rebrand its new Barina RS model from a "nana's car" to a good choice for 18- to 34-year-old drivers. It launched a contest to choose six people to ride "hot laps" in a Barina RS with champion driver Greg Murphy. The contestant with the lowest variance between a resting heartbeat and heartbeat during the laps won the car. The Heartracing campaign got nearly 3M impressions on launch day.

Goals

  • Invite younger car buyers to post videos explaining why they should be chosen for the contest, helping to revitalize the Barina model
  • Keep interest high after an initial traffic spike on launch day

Approach

  • The first all-YouTube takeover in the car market across New Zealand and Australia
  • YouTube campaign included desktop homepage Masthead, mobile/tablet homepage Masthead, FirstWatch, and TrueView

Results

  • 2.9M impressions on campaign launch day
  • 10K visits to Heartracing campaign website
  • 250K video views on YouTube, with 20% of TrueView "view-by-invitation" being fully engaged
Published
July 2014
Topics

A celebrated name in motoring for over 60 years and the third-largest car company in the country, Holden New Zealand wanted to reposition its Barina model from a "nana's car" to a good choice for 18- to 34-year-old drivers. Working with a popular Kiwi race driver, Holden launched the new Barina RS with a thrilling, YouTube-based campaign that measured the drivers' heartbeats.

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Get people to think differently

"The Barina nameplate has been in the Holden range for many years," says Marnie Jane Samphier, Holden's general marketing manager. "The arrival of this new model gave us a chance to get people to think differently about Barina." Holden launched a contest to choose six lucky people to ride two "hot laps" each in a Barina RS with driver Greg Murphy. The champion racer has "a very strong association with Holden and gives the car a bit of street cred," Samphier says. The contestant with the lowest variance between a resting heartbeat and heartbeat during the laps won the car.

To create its unprecedented campaign, Holden worked with Google and two agencies: Ogilvy & Mather New Zealand, which provided creative production, and Carat New Zealand, the media agency.

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A 24-hour YouTube takeover

Holden, Google, and the agencies held a brainstorming session in November 2013. Ogilvy devised the interactive contest, called Heartracing, to bring the racing experience to life online. "As soon as the idea was on the table, it felt right," Samphier says. Carat developed the digital plan for producing contest entries as quickly as possible, while in the long run also driving awareness of the Barina brand.

YouTube offered the creative team the freedom to bring its idea to life, and car buyers were already using the platform. YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind Google itself, so viewers were "leaning forward" and ready to be engaged. Holden's video content attracted passionate and engaged racing fans as well.

A first for Australia and New Zealand

The Heartracing campaign was the first all-YouTube takeover in the car market across Australia and New Zealand. Holden's multi-screen Barina campaign included three key components: desktop homepage Masthead, mobile/tablet homepage Masthead, and YouTube FirstWatch. YouTube TrueView then helped to maintain momentum after launch.

Holden invited people to post videos of themselves, saying why they should be chosen for the contest. The brand primarily relied on YouTube TrueView to keep interest high after an initial huge traffic spike on launch day. TrueView's "view-by-invitation" model worked very well, with 20% of views being fully engaged and the rest providing free branding impressions and views. The Google Display Network added reach across relevant categories and interests, and Google Search delivered many more entries following launch week.



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Driving traffic and engagement

The online campaign launched in mid-February 2014, preceded two days earlier by a companion TV campaign. The finalists hit the track with driver Murphy six weeks later. "The numbers out of YouTube surprised us," Samphier says. "We got nearly 3M impressions on launch day. It was quite phenomenal, really. We are a small market here, and we pretty much owned YouTube for a whole day."

The Heartracing campaign made dealers' hearts beat faster, too. Barina RS sales took off, with Holden dealerships struggling to meet demand.

The YouTube campaign changed people's minds, and really put Barina RS onto the shopping list for small-car buyers.

Not for nana anymore

"The response to our Barina RS launch campaign exceeded our wildest expectations, and our digital activity—specifically on YouTube—was a key driver of traffic and engagement," Samphier concludes. "The YouTube campaign changed people's minds, and really put Barina RS onto the shopping list for small-car buyers."