Renault gives German buyers food for thought

Bruehl. Renault is using humor in an Internet and movie marketing campaign to highlight the safety ratings of its cars to German consumers.

As website viewers watch a 60-second mini-movie, they see a veal sausage, a sushi roll and a Swedish crisp bread broken up by a mock high-speed crash test.

Only the last "test subject" survives the stage-managed accident. It is a French baguette, which rebounds into almost its original form.

The riddle of the abused foodstuff is solved in the end credits. "The safest cars come from France," a message says.

Culinary jab

With its ironically culinary jab at its German, Japanese and Swedish competitors, Renault is conveying its strong performance in the European NCAP crash test.

Eight of the French manufacturer's models received the best possible mark of five stars, more than any rival automaker.

Nordpol, a Hamburg-based ad agency, created the spot. It is running until the end of the year. The firm is Renault's agency for Internet advertising.

Joerg Ellhof, head of marketing for Renault's German unit, said he is happy with the "thoroughly positive reaction."

Initially, the commercial was planned only as a so-called viral spot. Viral marketing is based on a message being spread by word of mouth, as quickly as a virus.

But the spot also can be seen in German movie theaters. A television version is not currently planned, but it is "not being ruled out."

The ad can be viewed online at http://www.sicher.de/start_spot.php.

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