Amedia rolled out “The Fight on Grey” campaign in three cities as a celebration of local pride that reinforced brand recognition and awareness for Citroën, generating purchase intention in a local sphere. Research was conducted to choose the three local markets in eastern Norway, as well as during and after the campaign to measure its effectiveness.

Amedia owns 64 local and regional newspapers distributing print and digital news, in addition to Nettavisen, which operates nationally. We have detailed insight into what our readers are interested in when they consume local features. Additionally, we have in-house content producers through Spray, Amedia’s content production agency.

These producers live and work in the same local environment as the people they write for, which is a solid ground for providing relevant and interesting local native ad features. They also have a unique network when it comes to finding people with engaging stories.

Three local car dealers became the faces of the campaign. One was featured in each city — Tom Georg from Moss, Tor-Martin from Fredrikstad, og Ulf from Sarpsborg — to give the native ads a feeling of personal, hometown connection.
Three local car dealers became the faces of the campaign. One was featured in each city — Tom Georg from Moss, Tor-Martin from Fredrikstad, og Ulf from Sarpsborg — to give the native ads a feeling of personal, hometown connection.

The three cities we chose for the campaign — Moss, Fredrikstad, and Sarpsborg in the county of Østfold — had at least one thing in common: local optimism. After years of quiet and vacancies in their city centres, each was being revitalised. New businesses saw potential. Refurbishments provided more inspiring surroundings.

People had newly found confidence for their city and talked about it in positive terms again. This created an ideal environment and audience for the Citroën native advertising campaign.

The concept for the campaign was based on key Citroën values, such as being colourful, different, and engaged. Our working campaign title “The Fight on Grey” can be interpreted in several different ways: from dull, grey walls in the city centre to a city being grey in the sense that it is uneventful and irrelevant to people.

In each local ad, the car dealers shared their local pride and optimism to build brand awareness with a local focus.
In each local ad, the car dealers shared their local pride and optimism to build brand awareness with a local focus.

Local car dealers were key to implementing the brand campaign and establishing an association between love for the local area and Citroën. The car dealers are known to many people locally, and they share a genuine pride in their cities, which they communicate with the readers.

In each of the native ads, a local car dealer was featured showing their local pride and enthusiasm. The articles were similar in shape, but each was unique for the local market. Each car dealer brought in a local painter to refresh a dull, grey wall with colourful paint and shared their positive thoughts about the city’s new developments.

We photographed a Citroën C3 in front of each wall. These photos were used in digital ad banners and print ads.

Each dealership celebrated local revitalisation and joined "The Fight on Grey" by repainting a dull, drab wall with a bright color.
Each dealership celebrated local revitalisation and joined "The Fight on Grey" by repainting a dull, drab wall with a bright color.

Creating a campaign on such a local level was a new approach on Citroën’s part, something that works well with its image of daring to be different.

Our research found that the campaign resulted in:

  • 56% increase in brand recognition.
  • 110% increase in willingness to try the brand.
  • High ad awareness, liking, and purchase intent.

Research during and after the campaign measured its effectiveness.
Research during and after the campaign measured its effectiveness.

In general, we found a much higher level of positive preferences towards Citroën after the campaign. During and after the campaign, the car salespeople got lots of attention from readers that had seen them in the newspaper. This gave them a basis for conversation with customers and others. They also pointed to this type of advertisement being different from their usual price/product focus. They experienced it as a cool, new way to reach out and were proud of their workplaces in a new way.