How Sixt challenged car hire culture, and changed its fortunes

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


In the car rental market where consumers mostly stick to suppliers they have used before, Sixt Rent a Car, a challenger brand, was stuck in a rut. From a low starting point and equipped with a modest £500,000 budget, Sixt needed to disrupt consumers’ habitual choices, and do so fast. Based on an insight about how much people enjoyed being seen driving an expensive car they were renting for a bargain price, the ‘Drive Smug’ campaign aimed to challenge customer inertia. Rather than spread its efforts widely, the brand focused its media spend on dominating the branding opportunities at Canary Wharf Tube station, which many of its target affluent male consumers travelled through. As a result of the campaign, key brand measures grew, local sales responded, and Sixt rented more luxury cars. The communications activity’s estimated net profit return was £0.80 for every £1 invested.

Click to purchase this case study >

“‘Drive Smug’ has given us a long-term platform that works across different media touch points. We also learned that on small budgets, like ours, it helps to sacrifice reach to achieve domination.”

David Jackson, Head of Marketing & Channel Management UK
Sixt Rent-a-car

Winners 2016

Silver Winner

Title

How Sixt challenged car hire culture, and changed its fortunes

Brand

Sixt

Client

Sixt Rent-a-car

Agency

Grey London

Principal Authors

  • Oliver Pople - Grey London
  • Rachel Walker - Grey London

Contributing Authors

  • Matthew Gladstone - Grey London

Credited Companies

  • Grey London - Creative Agency
  • Manning Gottlieb OMD - Media Agency

A well constructed paper with innovative use of connection planning, and good insights driving the campaign and media selection. Andrew Geoghegan, Diageo

Shortlist 2018

Silver Winner

Title

How Sixt challenged car hire culture, and changed its fortunes

Brand

Sixt

Client

Sixt Rent-a-car

Agency

Grey London

Principal Authors

  • Oliver Pople - Grey London
  • Rachel Walker - Grey London

Contributing Authors

  • Matthew Gladstone - Grey London

Credited Companies

  • Grey London - Creative Agency
  • Manning Gottlieb OMD - Media Agency

A well constructed paper with innovative use of connection planning, and good insights driving the campaign and media selection. Andrew Geoghegan, Diageo

How Sixt challenged car hire culture, and changed its fortunes

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


In the car rental market where consumers mostly stick to suppliers they have used before, Sixt Rent a Car, a challenger brand, was stuck in a rut. From a low starting point and equipped with a modest £500,000 budget, Sixt needed to disrupt consumers’ habitual choices, and do so fast. Based on an insight about how much people enjoyed being seen driving an expensive car they were renting for a bargain price, the ‘Drive Smug’ campaign aimed to challenge customer inertia. Rather than spread its efforts widely, the brand focused its media spend on dominating the branding opportunities at Canary Wharf Tube station, which many of its target affluent male consumers travelled through. As a result of the campaign, key brand measures grew, local sales responded, and Sixt rented more luxury cars. The communications activity’s estimated net profit return was £0.80 for every £1 invested.

Click to purchase this case study >