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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Peugeot bets on film in its battle with the big boys

Your reviewer is back in Blighty after recently touring Australia. Given the outrageous scale of the place, much driving was involved.

Peugeot: backs the French Film Festival in Sydney

Peugeot: backs the French Film Festival in Sydney

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In the "bush" (countryside to the likes of you and me), the vehicular profile was dominated by crew-cab 4x4s.

But in the cities and ‘burbs, it seemed every other car was a white saloon with a Japanese, Korean or Thai badge.

Is the preponderance of a snow-coloured finish a defence against the fierce Aussie sun?  Who knows. As for the popularity of Asian brands, the official stats confirmed my suspicion.

So let’s have a quick look at Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ sales figures for 2011.

Global behemoths Ford and GM (known as Holden in Oz) take second and third spot with combined sales of 217,338.  But top dog is Toyota with 181,624 units shifted.

More telling perhaps are the occupants of the next nine places down the league table.  The monopoly of Asian marques (Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Honda, Kia and Suzuki) is broken only by Volkswagen in eighth place.

Presumably, as elsewhere, these results are down to the quality and longevity of the Asian vehicles more than the inventiveness of their advertising, which proved unremarkable (what I saw of it, anyway).

It is a cliché that Aussies enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Perhaps less well known in the UK is that Sydney is Australia’s film capital. Put these factors together and you have an advertising opportunity for someone. As it turns out, Peugeot.

This brand is a natural partner for the city’s French Film Festival, promoted on banners dressing Sydney’s lamp posts.

While nicely conceived and designed, for Peugeot’s sake, one has to hope they have as much marketing muscle as cultural sensitivity.

They may be ahead of their froggy rivals Renault in the league table, but with sales of just 5,220, they’re barely on the radar of the big boys. 

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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