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August 1, 2022

4 minute read

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Do you remember? The last look from a woman to the lover she just broke up with before boarding the plane, the spurned young man who throws himself into his 205 and manoeuvres, making his tyres squeal in the middle of the desert, the woman's laughter as she discovers, from her window, the letters of the word "GARCE" (COW) traced in the sand for her and the inevitable and heady "Sacrée 205, j'aime ton numéro!" You've recognised it: it's the advert for the PEUGEOT 205, the mythical Lion city car from 1982 to 1999.  

A story, a music, a slogan: the creation of a successful advertising campaign cannot be improvised. A few drops of emotion, a pinch of suspense, a dose of glamour, a few grams of humour, music to remember and, of course, an explosive slogan: the cocktail is subtle and delicate.  

Elodie Bugat, Brand Content Manager at PEUGEOT, gives us some insight into the secrets of creating an advertising campaign for a car and some (often unsuspected) aspects of her job.  


What is the very first step to take when designing a new advertising campaign? 

The first step is to draw up a brief. The brief is prepared in collaboration with the media and advertising agencies to ensure that the client is immersed in the subject as early as possible and is an essential basis for their thinking. Internally, the brief is prepared in conjunction with marketing, product teams, style teams and client research specialists.   

The objective of the brief is to answer different questions such as:

  • Who are our target customers? 
  • What makes our product different and unique? 
  • Who are our competitors?  
How do you define your typical customer? 

A typical customer is a semi-fictional character who represents a group of people who share the same problem with a product. It is the portrait of the ideal customer who is likely to be interested in our car. This allows us to understand the logic of our future customers and to identify their problems, their obstacles, their consumption habits and even their way of thinking to propose the most relevant offer. Based on customer studies, each typical customer is defined according to different characteristics:  

  • Social and demographic
  • Psychological
  • Needs
  • Motivations and expectations
  • Behaviour and objectives
How do you define the different distribution channels for your future advertising campaign?
They are defined according to the media most consumed by the targets to which they are addressed (social networks for the youngest, television for the over-50s, for example) as well as their positioning in their purchasing path. Each distribution channel has a specific strategy. This media strategy is prior to the creation of the advertisement and is based on the skills of the media agency we work with. 
What exactly is a brand content team?
To begin with, it is important to define the mission of a Brand Content team. It's about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.  

A Brand Content team consists of Brand Content Managers who coordinate the advertising campaigns between the many entities in-house. They also manage the collaboration with the advertising and media agency and follow the productions, budgets, and schedules from start to finish. The brand content team also includes executive producers who are responsible for creating content (photos, videos) and updating the digital showrooms and configurators. 
Which external partners do you work with?
In addition to the media agency and the advertising agency, we also work with audio-visual production companies. These companies provide us with all the professionals we need to create the advertisement: director, chief operator, editor, photographer, musician, etc. 
What is your relationship with the different departments of the Brand throughout the duration of a campaign?
There are many entities within the brand, and we work closely with them: product, style, launches, press, customer experience, training, brand managers, etc.  

We therefore have weekly work sessions which bring together all the professions involved in the launch of a new vehicle. During these meetings, we manage the project, step by step, business by business. These meetings are essential and must be held regularly. 
How do you make an advertising message evolve over time?
First, a very important aspect is the respect of the product positioning that is established before the launch of a car. This positioning is valid for the entire life cycle of the car. It may be necessary to change an advertising message at the time of the mid-life launch of a car (restyling of a vehicle after a certain time on the market). This is an opportunity to highlight new features such as a change in design or new USP (Unique Selling Proposition). An advertising message can also be developed as part of a follow-up campaign: it is an opportunity to support a model that needs to be relaunched in the face of the competition. 
How do you manage the international campaign?
We work closely with the markets and consider the specificities, customer habits and media consumption of each country to adapt the advertising message and the media used, while scrupulously respecting the product positioning. We remain vigilant in the treatment of the image (photos, videos) to respect the culture and specificities of each country. 
As a Brand Content Manager, what is your favourite part of creating an advertising campaign?
I've been doing this job for several years now, and my favourite moment is always the shooting of a commercial. Primarily because it's a change from the daily routine and, above all, it's very satisfying to see the creative ideas that have been developed on paper come to fruition.
Do you have an anecdote or a memorable experience to share about a campaign?
The anecdotes are often related to the filming and the unexpected things that inevitably happen. For example, in one of our latest commercials, we needed a wolf to highlight the night vision system. We were put in touch with a specialist trainer. The day before the shoot, the wolf escaped into the Slovenian forest! We had no wolf left for the shoot and we had to find a solution in a hurry. So, the trainer offered us a fox... who finally did very well and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude!
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