When families go on vacation, parents get to drive around a shiny and different vehicle, but what do kids get to drive? Nothing! It happened that toy-maker Mattel and car-renter Europcar are clients of the same ad agency, and they formed an interesting idea: what if there were a counter where children could rent cars, too? Pocket-sized cars, that is. Hot Wheels.
The companies set up Hot Wheels rental counters in six busy Europcar locations in France. The concept was simple: the Hot Wheels rental process was exactly like the car-rental process. Kids could choose their vehicles and options from an in-store catalog or pre-book online, and even join their own loyalty program. They could return their Corvette or Batmobile…or decide to keep it, and the car would be charged to a parent’s credit card. Families purchased about 45% of vehicles.
The idea wasn’t to sell millions of cars: selling some of them wouldn’t hurt, but the point of the rental program was to introduce the brand to as many kids as possible, putting toy cars into the hands of children who are probably more used to video games and more complex toys.
The agencies declared the experiment a success, but didn’t say whether they plan to continue or expand it. Or whether they’ll rent toy cars to adults, for that matter.
Mattel Teams Up With Car-Rental Agency to Rent Hot Wheels to Kids [Advertising Age]