About two weeks ago on Sep 6 2010, Benz put up its 200 “smart” cars on Taobao‘s Groupon-like website offering 23% discount.
Mediaedge:cia was the agency behind this campaign and the plan was to sell 200 “smart” cars on Taobao in three weeks’ time. Surprisingly, all cars were sold out in three and half hours. The campaign also attracted over 300,000 visitors in less than 24 hours.
69 cars were sold to buyers in Zhejiang province (where Taobao’s HQ is located), 45 in Beijing, and 22 in Guangdong province. According to a salesperson at Benz, on average one Smart car was sold every day.
The lesson here is clear, run a pilot campaign on valuable online channels like Taobao and observe carefully the demographic and geographic implications.