NEW YORK – Bentley Motor Cars USA has tapped DDB for its ad account, the agency’s first North American car client since it lost Volkswagen of America four years ago.
DDB here landed Bentley by leveraging London-based BMP DDB’s existing ties to Volkswagen, which bought Rolls Royce Motor Cars last year. Bentley, a division of Rolls Royce, did not conduct a review.
The client began talking to DDB in April, initially with plans to focus its U.S. advertising regionally, said Peter Groome, management supervisor at the agency. Research revealed that consumers know little about the brand; thus, the client decided to go with a national print campaign.
“People we spoke to thought Bentley ‘is for old people’ or ‘it’s a cheap Rolls Royce,'” Groome added.
As a result, DDB proposed ideas that emphasized performance. The agency worked around the notion of “extreme motoring,” or achieving the utmost in luxury and performance to develop the campaign, said Steven Landsberg, co-chief creative officer.
The work prominently features the “B” logo from the hood of the car. Each ad uses the B to tout a different emotion: “B Triumphant” reads one; “B Zealous” reads another.
The company sells only several hundred cars a year, which cost between $200,000-400,000. “They’re competing against boats and helicopters,” Groome said. The five ads, backed by $2-3 million, debut this week in Cigar Afficionado, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and others. ¡
Get Adweek's Brand Marketing Daily Newsletter in your Inbox
Today's highs and lows of creativity