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How far would you go to buy a new car?

Admiral Financial Services Ltd

Sometimes the best PR ideas are simple ones, based on an insight or anecdote from an industry expert. But anecdotes don’t land column inches on their own. What you need is hard evidence to demonstrate that your news is rooted in fact.

But where does that evidence come from? Hard data is the ideal proof, but if you don’t have internal data, there isn’t a publicly available source you can reference, and no survey that will give you the answers you want, you need to think outside the box and create a data set for yourself.

That’s exactly what we did for our client Admiral. We designed and built a data-set from desk research to ensure our story was backed by fact and we had the evidence to prove our point.

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Admiral asked us to create and deliver a PR campaign to promote its car finance products to potential customers. The campaign needed to raise awareness that the insurer could help customers buy a car, and promote Admiral as a trusted brand who wanted to help car buyers spend less and save money.

How far would you go to buy a new car?

We knew from our own personal experiences and talking to experts in the motor industry that prices for the same cars (we’re talking make, engine size, age and mileage) could vary hugely around the UK, and that car buyers could potentially be overspending by hundreds of pounds by only searching for a new car in the immediate vicinity of their own homes.

But, how could we prove it? Telling someone to search further from home for a car is one thing, showing them is another. What we needed was proof.

Using a consumer survey we pieced together the puzzle of car buying habits: how far from home people typically go to buy a car and how potential savings influenced the distances they might be prepared to go. But we needed to prove beyond a doubt that going the extra mile for the purchase could save money, meaning borrowing less and paying off any debt quicker.

Knowing that many consumers researched car purchases online, we did the same. We checked car prices in and around different cities across the UK, recording what we found (and keeping evidence) to build a picture of how the price of a similar vehicle rose and fell in different locations. Using our database we compared results between cities, proving that our theory stacked up: shopping further from home could save not just hundreds, but thousands of pounds for consumers.

With the huge savings as a headline, and hard evidence to back up our bold claims we secured 134 pieces of coverage for the campaign, landing broadcast as well as print and online mentions for Admiral including national publications iNews, the Daily Express, The Sun and the Daily Mail.

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