Renault Italy Is Selling a Limited-Edition SUV Through a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

The carmaker has also created anime-style Instagram Stories for Captur Tokyo's release

Renault Italy is placing 100 of the Captur Tokyo Edition SUVs on sale through Facebook Messenger. Publicis Italy

Renault Italy is bringing 100 of its Captur Tokyo Edition, a limited-edition SUV, to the market—and it will sell them for the first time through a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

To honor the Japanese capital, the French carmaker with agency Publicis Italy has introduced the SUV with its own Instagram Stories series, “Tokyo Stories,” conveyed through classic anime storytelling. Publicis Italy said in a release that the series animated by Matteo De Longis will follow two men as they journey around a fictionalized, nocturnal version of Tokyo and interact with a “mysterious” character and “a car outside the box” (a.k.a. the Captur Tokyo).

What’s groundbreaking about the campaign is that for the first time, interested buyers can interact with this “mysterious” character’s Facebook messenger chatbot to directly pre-order one of the limited-edition SUVs.

The above video promoting the campaign tells viewers that “the only way” to get their “hands on” the 100 “pieces” (cars) is to “speak with him.” The “him” seems to be the same mysterious character alluded to in the release, although he doesn’t appear to be all that mysterious.

The animated blond guy with the goatee, who’s wearing a red suit and holding what looks like a Pokemon ball, seems to be the car salesman in this scenario.

The SUV—decked out in Kumo pattern with an embellished roof, mirror covers and interior—was presented today in Milan at the headquarters of Garage Italia.

The Publicis team behind the campaign was not available for further comment.

Instagram Stories reached 400 million daily users in June, far exceeding that of its closest competitor, Snapchat, which boasts just under 200 million daily users. Due to its increasing popularity, Brands are taking advantage of it as a means to reach consumers including by directly linking to their sites to boost sales.


Client: Renault Italy
Renault Advertising and CRM Manager: Elisabeth Leriche
Renault Advertising and Digital Campaign Executive: Cinzia Terragno

Agency: Publicis Italy
Chief Creative Officer Italia: Cristiana Boccassini
Creative Director: Francesco Martini
Digital Creative Director: Massimo Guerci
Art Director: Dario Citriniti
Copywriter: Roberto Rosi
Digital Art Director: Iacopo Gioffrè
Client Service Team: Daniela Di Maio, Ilaria Lorenzetti, Sara Barone
Producer: Laura Pace
Art Buyer: Stefano Gruarin
Editor: Fulvio Rossetti
Animation: That’s Motion
Post Production CGI: Lucy

Head of Creative Shop Italy: Cristina Baccelli
Creative Agency Partner: Patricia Consonni
Industry Head Automotive: Andrea Caldironi
Client Solutions Manager: Adele Spera, Roberto Scatena

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.