Interactive experience for children makes the waiting times in the travel easier for everyone.
Letting children rent their own vehicle might not sound like the smartest move, but when they are the popular toy Hot Wheels, it makes for an interesting marketing campaign. Ogilvy and Mather Paris worked with Mattel and Europcar to set up the “First Rental Car Agency for Kids.” While parents were busy booking a car for the next family vacation, Hot Wheels representatives helped kids to pick out their own car as well, complete with its own rental contract.
When kids went in with their parents, they were offered a selection of vehicles, and even had to sing their names to conclude the deal. For any cars that weren’t returned, a charge was made on the parents’ credit card. This also gave Mattel a chance to figure out which cars were most popular, based on which of models found a permanent place in children’s pockets.
To make sure that kids got the full experience, anything their parents signed up for in the Europcar office was also applied to their Hot Wheels experience. “The pre-booking, the rental contracts, the test-drives, the free upgrades, unlimited miles — whatever the parents experienced on the Europcar side, the kids experienced on the Hot Wheels cars,” explained Patrick Sullivan, creative director at Ogilvy Paris.
The main aim of the campaign was for Mattel to put their toys in the hands of children, hoping that they could claw back some interest from video games and other technology. Europcar’s involvement happened almost entirely by chance. “Mattel and Europcar are two Ogilvy clients that have some creative and account leadership staffing overlap,” said Sullivan. “One hallway conversation led to another.”
While kids are normally relegated to the position of spectators during many adult conversations, this dual-engagement idea could be a better way to keep them stimulated and make the overall experience better for everyone. “We’re just starting to tap into the real potential of this idea,” says Sullivan. “We’re all really excited to push the next evolution of this idea even further. Make it bigger, roll it out to more markets in the European Union.”