Smart horns in on auto show action

A Toronto parking display demonstrates to Canadian International Auto Show attendees that the Smart Fortwo fits like a shoe.

The Smart Fortwo is designed for getting into tight spots.

To prove the point, BBDO Toronto attached a giant shoehorn to the rear Smart Fortwo vehicle and parked it around various locations close to the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show to draw attention to the fact that it can fit into a space as small as three metres.

‘The idea behind it was to uniquely demonstrate the parking ability of the smart car in an urban environment,’ says BBDO Toronto ECD Ian MacKellar. ‘The shoehorn is a giant metaphor to make that point.’

MacKellar says the campaign is aimed at auto show patrons because ‘you’ve got a lot of car buyers in the area and a lot of car buying on people’s minds. We thought that now is the time to get out there and make our presence known.’

It’s also directed at Toronto urbanites, MacKellar says. ‘This is a city car for sure, so that’s our target.’

The slogan, ‘Fits into tight places,’ accompanied by the address, is painted on the travelling car, but MacKellar says it’s too early to record if the website address has received a spike in traffic.

But he says the car has been getting a lot of attention as BBDO agency staffers park it around town.

‘We’ve been taking shifts. We parked it outside the Bottom Line, which is near the Hockey Hall Of Fame in Toronto, for eight hours.’

MacKellar, who developed the ‘Shoe Horn’ campaign with art director Jaimes Zentil, copywriter Craig McIntosh and photographer Shang Hoon, says the end result of the campaign, which launched Feb. 12 and ends with the Feb. 21st conclusion of the Canadian International Auto Show, is to leave a firm impression of the Smart Car in buyer’s minds.

‘We hope the target sees the Smart for what it is – which is the perfect urban vehicle.’