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"The stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys"

Client: ŠKODA Spain
Product: Brand Campaign
Title: The stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys
Media: All media
Country: Spain
Date Of Campaign: 06/2017 - 09/2017

Background: The campaign was featured in the Directory Issue number 44. However, it has since evolved and now we can add some more details.ŠKODA, the Czech car manufacturer, was not well-known in Spain. ŠKODA wanted to popularize itself by making a meaningful, emotional connection with Spaniards. So, in 2015, the brand launched a social mobility project to fight depopulation in remote towns. In September 2017, with the launch of its first 7-seat car, ŠKODA created a new social initiative, ‘The Stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys’, to reconnect towns in the Almeria desert. This area was a major movie location for iconic Westerns in the 1960s. But when the film crews finally left, the region’s villages began to suffer from a lack of job opportunities, public transport, and services. This had huge demographic implications for the area. In the last 15 years, the population has halved, leaving an ageing population, making isolation a very real problem, and forcing those who still want to live there with daily problems.

Idea: To address the problem, ŠKODA turned its first 7-seat car, the Kodiaq, into ‘The Stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys’, a free transportation service that connects the towns three times a week to cover the population’s needs.To raise awareness of the service and give visibility to the issue, ŠKODA shot a Western-themed advertisement at the location, starring some real locals, a documentary broadcast of the Stagecoach’s first trip on DMAX and several interviews featuring residents. Also, specialized content encouraged the conversation on media such as Vice and Fotogramas. Special content for local media was also created, and graphic material was produced to signpost the stagecoach’s stops and communicate the schedule. A website is available for users to search the status of the service in real time, view the route, service ratings and schedule. To book a seat in the stagecoach, which will run for at least two years, locals just call a telephone number, which is answered by the driver himself.To get film stars involved in the issue and promote the locations available in the region, ŠKODA sponsored the Almería Western Film Festival, where the campaign’s audiovisual pieces and stagecoach service were presented. This campaign established ŠKODA’s commitment to creating social mobility solutions. A journey that started in 2015 in Valdelinares, the highest town in Spain, and that will continue with new projects.

Results: All this generated earned media worth 1 million euros, brand awareness grew by 2.8% and ŠKODA Kodiaq orders increased by 97% compared to the months before the campaign.The Stagecoach provided a job for the father of a family, who became its driver. A job he can be sure of for at least the two years that the service will operate.By April 2018, 306 passengers had already used the ŠKODA stagecoach transportation service. 150 villages at risk of depopulation have already asked ŠKODA for help.

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