De Persgroep Nederland, a Dutch publisher with newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and radio in its portfolio, has a special creative unit called MediaLab. Housed within the advertising department, MediaLab works with advertisers to develop out-of-the box concepts.

Renault and de Persgroep worked together on an introduction campaign to launch the new Renault Grand Espace in the Netherlands. Persgroep’s MediaLab quickly realised that the automaker’s target audience had a lot in common with the readers of de Volkskrant, Holland’s leading quality newspaper.

Commonalities included:

  • Both like travelling (especially by car to France).

  • Both have a high disposable income.

  • Both are willing to spend extra for quality products.

So a beautiful 360-degree integrated campaign was created based on “the culinary France lovers” in the newspaper de Volkskrant, Volkskrant Magazine, online on, and via the tablet app. The campaign was created together with advertising agency Publicis and media agency OMD.

The main goals of this campaign were branding and activation.

Renault was looking for an out-of-the-box campaign to introduce the new Grand Espace and its unique qualities. But who goes from hearing about a car directly to buying it?

That is not the way the consumer process works. Buyers want to go for a test drive first to experience the car, so the test drive became the focus of the campaign. The clear quantitative goal was to acquire 200 test drive leads.

“We made a very conscious decision to use all media de Volkskrant has to offer for our campaign,” says Jutta Vermeijs, campaign manager at Renault. “Our motto is: ‘We do it all the way, or we don’t do it at all.’ That’s why we developed a fully integrated 360-degree plan, for maximum impact.”

Delivering a clear call to action, the campaign encouraged the audience to visit the dealership and test drive the new Renault Grand Espace. To make it more enticing, those who took the vehicle out for a drive had the chance to win a trip to culinary France for seven people in the Renault Grand Espace.

“All of these ingredients were consistently and repeatedly communicated in all elements of the campaign,” Vermeijs says.    

The campaign was a huge success. Renault received double the amount of test drive leads it had aimed for: “We scored 100% above target and are very happy with the results!” Vermeijs says. “It must be due to the natural link between de Volkskrant and Renault when it comes to gastronomy and love for France.”

Renault used the culinary trip to France not only as a mechanism to stimulate response, but it formed the leading element in the entire campaign. So it wasn’t only an effective campaign, it was also a visually attractive one.