Geneva Motor Show - Events That Challenge Public Perception

Richard Dodgson

16 March 2016


Events are an important tool for companies to challenge and change public perceptions of their brand or product. Geneva Motor Show is an excellent example of how brands must showcase their products to the public and how this annual event gives them the platform to do so. Geneva Motor Show is an international car industry event, held in Switzerland every March. Open to the public and press, it is one of the most significant automotive events in the industry.


Brands must come out fighting when they are up against stiff competition and battling for good press and public approval. We produced the World Premiere of the Vauxhall Corsa launch which involved flying the car over the London Thames, making front page headlines the next day. Events are pivotal in creating memorable moments and creating a buzz in the press. Each brand is struggling for recognition and this is their chance to showcase their brand and connect with their audience. Consumers expect innovation, reliability, versatility and safety as well as high performance and good looks, all at an unbeatable price. The press are looking for ingenious designs, advanced technology and economic development. It’s important to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons.


Every year car manufacturers are given the chance to introduce an industry game changer, realign their brand or react to last year’s show. Below are examples of how car brands have learned from 2015 and utilise this year’s Geneva Motor Show to challenge public perceptions.


• Electric and Hybrid car designs
The presence of Electric and Hybrid car designs at this year’s show was undeniably important for not just ease, efficiency and concept, but a huge contribution to lowering vehicle CO2 emissions and delivering best-in-class fuel economy. Electric and hybrid vehicles are making big moves in the automotive industry, winning nods from the press and government.


Electric vehicle brand Tesla has successfully used events to grow their brand by creating many ‘firsts’ at car industry events. The brand used the Tesla Roadster as the first production electric car to record a time in the prestigious Hill Climb at the largest car cultural festival in the world - Goodwood Festival of Speed. Luxury watch brand Tag Heuer sent a Tesla Roadster on a zero-emission 37,000 mile journey around the world to celebrate their 150th Anniversary, with Timebased ensuring the penultimate stop on the global tour at Selfridges achieved their brand objectives. Tesla has since had a large brand impact at Geneva Motor Show this year by showcasing their brand new electric SUV in an attempt to shake up the crossover scene. Tesla is ticking all the boxes with the new launch, bringing to the event the best of all worlds, a fast, spacious, economical and technologically smart, electric car.


• Bugatti unveiled the "world's fastest car"
The Motor Show was also an opportunity for Bugatti to create a wow moment, making this brand a contestant in winning the best press and biggest headlines. The public want to be shocked. There’s nothing like hearing that that Bugatti had to limit its maximum road speed to 260mph because it was that fast. Seriously cool.


Chinese start-up Techrules
Events aren’t just for draw dropping moments and bold speeches. It’s a great place for new brands to make an entrance. Chinese start up Techrules took this opportunity to hit the ground running with China’s first supercar concept which uses a micro-turbine to generate electricity that charges a battery pack. Techrules is one to watch in the automotive industry as it took centre stage at Geneva Motor Show for its chance to appeal to electric car manufacturers.


BMW had a grand reveal at the Motor Show with the faster 7-series as well as launching the new iPerformance model designation, which will be given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles from July 2016. It will be seen first on the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series. BMW are experts at using events to connect with the public. Recently, BMW used an event in Munich to celebrate their Centenary, which was about looking forward to the next 100 years, as opposed to looking back. BMW have created a positive public message, which will have a long lasting effect.


We look forward to welcoming back car shows in London this year with the first major car show since 2008, the 2016 London Motor Show. Aimed at a broader demographic of families, first time buyers, industry experts and even learners, the London Motor Show will be held at Battersea Park from 5th to the 8th May 2016.



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