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Citroën’s Perfect Day

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Citroën make some great cars: innovative engineering, adventurous styling. But the French motoring icon has a share-of-mind challenge in the UK, with other carmakers outspending on broadcast. In sync with its non-mainstream approach to motoring, a courageously open brief for awareness and lead gen across social media put idea and execution in the capable hands of Scorch London.

Months of work led to a hero film and 12 contributor pieces based around the idea of the “perfect day”: those times we all remember when everything felt just right. And Citroën added their own little twist too: allowing consumers to create their very own perfect day with a test drive that lasts a full 24 hours.

The campaign fanned out into over 120 pieces of drive-to-site media that proved once and for all that video works for driving more than just awareness.

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Do you remember the last moment you had when everything just felt good? A day that added a whole new meaning to life? Maybe you had finished a big project and a gorgeous sunset validated your success. Maybe it was when you were skiing and you managed to get your schuss just right. Maybe it was that delightful Sunday morning back in Paris when you woke up to the smell of freshly-baked croissants.

That’s the feeling Victoria Hatfield, Citroën UK’s Head of Marketing Communications, wanted consumers to associate with her brand. With market share in the UK stable but low at 3.5%, she wanted to drive greater awareness to the Citroën brand – and as the campaign progressed, to develop a lead gen mechanism that turned brand visibility into prospects in the sales funnel. But Hatfield didn’t want to lead us down a set route, so the brief was deliberately left open to see where we could take it. With Citroën offering what every agency dreams of: creative freedom, it was time for Scorch London to put the pedal to the metal.


Hatfield wanted the agency she chose to work without any preconceptions – this was even reflected in her working title: the “Big Idea Brief”. However the agency achieved it, the outcome she wanted was clear: for people to feel good. In the UK, choosing the fun and functionality of Citroën automatically marks you out as different; the goal now was for prospective owners to feel terrific about the decision.

Accordingly, it was decided early on that the creative didn’t have to look like a car ad, which meant fewer shots of unrealistically open roads and spinning wheels, and more of a focus on people and the personal qualities that drive them to take a look at choices outside the mainstream.

Media choices sidestepped broadcast and print, concentrating on paid and earned media and the company’s own website. A shared thought between client and agency team was that with broadband now universal, video content has become the new test drive. By playing, replaying, and sharing clips, consumers are already in the driving seat, experiencing the car and validating their choices.

Another conscious choice was to launch at New Year, bringing a fresh ray of sunshine to the dark days of January and February by setting the market up for a new year with a new Citroën.

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Our cars reflect our personalities, from the breezy surfer in a yellow supermini to the high-flying executive encased in black metal. Citroën puts joy and laughter front and centre: after all, the first three letters of function are F-U-N. So Scorch went back to basics: what makes people happy?

As you’d expect, there was no easy answer, but in the question was the solution: everyone’s perfect day is different. So why not a campaign that looked at your perfect day? It led to Scorch researching different concepts of happiness, and coming up with 12 personas of joy. The next job was to scour the UK to find these exemplars of happiness. We didn’t focus on billionaires and rock stars, but ordinary people who find extraordinary pleasure in the lives they choose.

A boogie-ing lollipop lady who found joy in the simple act of keeping children safe; a parent blogger who embraced the weird; a differently-abled skydiver who found freedom in the sky. 12 stories made up Scorch’s sources. Directors’ Steve Jay and Will Clark Smith summed them up in a long-format brand film, highlighting the characters’ sense of fun . . . with the car playing straight man, from city streets to remote farmland.

“The people came first”, explains Account Manager Emily Woollcombe-Adams. “In the hero film, the vehicles linked the segments – but happiness was the star!”

The brand film fanned out to 120 pieces of creative – spanning 12 individual films for the participants, each slotted into an hour of the perfect day.

Then Scorch wanted to take the concept of the perfect day even deeper. All carmakers let customers try before they buy, but Citroën turned the creative concept into an incredible 24-hour test drive offer, allowing buyers to create their own perfect day behind the wheel of a Citroën.


The 120 digital assets spanned 360 degrees of social media. The films lit up YouTube and Facebook; promoted on Twitter with #myperfectday; Instagram and Spotify shared them to a younger demographic.

The prelaunch campaign reached over 1 million impressions in two months, with a 21% VTR. The main campaign, which had more of a focus on niche and vertical interests, hit nearly 5 million impressions – reaching an impressive average VTR of 35%!

Advertising across Google’s Display Network linked to the campaign; answering the need for lead generation. Traditional thinking holds that video is great for the awareness part, but is of no use for lead gen. But Scorch – like Citroën itself – isn’t ruled by the traditional . . . so added a lead gen requirement to its plan. The target? 3,000 test drives booked. Scorch beat it, hitting over 3,500 test drive bookings.

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Citroën’s Perfect Day came after not days, but weeks of hard work, with not one but six creative concepts individually created and considered. That’s how we roll at Scorch: inspiration takes perspiration. But as you’d expect, we’re always happy to do it.

If you’re in the market for some winning creative, we’d like to talk about making your day better. Or even perfect. Why not get in touch and take us for a test drive?


A pleasure to work with, agile and delivered within budget. Our project was delivered on time, to a very high standard and 100% in line with our Brand values. Everything you could ask for in an agency!