Mitsubishi Motors North America is launching a direct-to-consumer test-drive pilot program called the Small Batch Drive Experience.
It's a first-of-its-kind tour that “combines the power of experiential marketing with advanced targeting technology to deliver a relevant, convenient and curated brand experience for consumers,” according to the automaker.
Mitsubishi kicks off the pilot program on Wednesday in Los Angeles. It will run through Sept. 11 before moving to San Francisco (Sept. 11-22) and New York (Oct. 2-13).
The program will feature the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Outlander Sport, and the plug-in hybrid, the Outlander PHEV. Customers that participate will receive a Mitsubishi-branded gift card redeemable at local participating shops in each of the cities. On Aug. 28, Nissan is front of Local Fixture, a traditional general store owned by Whittier, Calif. locals who designed and curated an experience around the things they love. Next week, the program will move closer to Orange County where it will kick off at Pilgrim's Coffee House in Fullerton, Calif. This local coffee house is in the heart of Fullerton’s downtown revival with small-batch restaurants, shops, brew house, etc. They exemplify the small-batch ethos, according to the automaker.
Unlike traditional consumer ride-and-drives, which involve large physical footprints, truckloads of equipment and significant upfront costs, the Small Batch Drive Experience is “lean, nimble and smart," the company claims.
Orchestrated by BirdDog, the program uses social media listening, artificial intelligence and hyper-local geo-targeting technology to identify clusters of consumers matching a detailed prospective buyer profile. From there, it looks to categories of venues of interest to target audiences.
Locations will include retail environments, cultural events or coffee shops. Once a location is identified, BirdDog will hit the road and set up the pop-up ride-and-drive.
The Small Batch Drive Experience pilot continues an ongoing plan to reinvent every aspect of Mitsubishi Motors, including the way that prospective customers discover, shop for, and purchase Mitsubishi vehicles, as well as every touchpoint in the ownership experience, says Kimberley Gardiner, vice president and CMO, MMNA.
Consumers today want to engage with brands on their own terms, Gardiner says. The Small Batch Drive Experience is one way the automaker can offer in-market or soon to be in-market consumers the opportunity to experience the Mitsubishi brand and vehicles at a convenient time and place, and in an environment that works for them, she adds.