How a big car maker turned the small car market on its head

Agency AJF Partnership
Advertiser GM Holden
Author Kate Leuchars
Total Campaign Expenditure $5 - 10 million

How can we launch the entirely new Holden Cruze into the toughest battlefield of all, small cars, at a time when category sales are dramatically dropping and the car itself is not in line with what consumers want?

Category: Battle for share against the longstanding leaders and the ‘scrappy pack’ The small car category is the most ruthless battleground of the car industry. Dominated for decades1 by Toyota Corolla (18%2) and Mazda3 (20%) who are also the #2 & #3 brands in the entire car market after Holden Commodore (see figure 1). After these monster brands have taken their share, the remainder is squabbled over by a further 25 brands, ensuring competition is intense. A new brand is unlikely to rise out of the lower levels and into a high awareness consideration set. The small car market is theoretically an important growth market for Holden as more people were beginning to choose smaller cars, but in 2009, the small car segment was down 16.7%3, by the time we were due to launch the campaign.