Smart U.S.A., the maker of the diminutive Fortwo coupe, has launched a social media contest to spotlight its collaboration with Danish furniture design house BoConcept. The partnership includes a limited-edition BoConcept version of the Smart Fortwo and a Smart-inspired BoConcept furniture line.
The driver behind the Facebook-focused “Collaboration Fortwo,” via N.Y.-base Razorfish, is to get artists and creatives to help design a piece of artwork reflecting elements of both brands. The effort begins with crowd voting at Smart’s Facebook locale, where fans choose artists to form pairs for the final project. Smart will announce the winning pair on Dec. 5.
The company says that among the competing artists are surrealist photographer Henry Hargreaves; New York leatherworker Lyndsey Butler of VEDA; metal-kwaii pop multimedia developer Buff Monster; and artist Adam Wallacavage.
The brand, based in Montvale, N.J., and operating under the aegis of Mercedes-Benz U.S.A., says it will keep the campaign alive with updates on Twitter and Instagram at #collabfortwo. One week after being chosen, per Smart, the winning duo will ensconce themselves in a Brooklyn, N.Y., warehouse to create an artistic brand- image hybrid elaborating on "design within small spaces, intricate details and bright, poppy colors." As for the fans of Smart's Facebook page, the ones who picked the winning pair will get a limited-edition print of the finished artwork.
The $17,720, Smart Fortwo BoConcept edition has a color palate featuring tobacco brown seats with gray fabric inserts, lemon yellow contrast stitching, while the BoConcept "Smartville Collection" uses the same colors for the furniture line centering on a modular sofa designed to be the precise length of the car. The collection is being sold both at BoConcept stores and web outlets, and at Smart dealerships, per the automaker.
Smart is a very low-volume brand, which makes sense given the fact that it is a tiny two-seater, which by definition has limited opportunities. The company sold 513 cars in October, a big drop versus last year, and 7,450 cars year to date, per Smart and Automotive News‘ data center. The marketing has been mostly digital here. Overseas, it has had larger media commitments: this year, there was a campaign in Russia, via BBDO Moscow, where drivers who got towed because they were illegally parked could borrow a Smart. And hoops star Kobe Bryant has starred in ads for the car for the China market.