While serving as the PR agency of record for Piaggio USA, the manufacturer of the iconic Vespa® motor scooter, CooperKatz developed a campaign called “Vespanomics” to encourage Americans to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of Vespa scooters – and help to broaden Piaggio’s target market from niche enthusiasts to mainstream consumers.
To generate broad awareness, CooperKatz conducted a comprehensive, research-based campaign. It launched with a full-page “open letter” in the New York Times from Piaggio North America’s CEO Paolo Timoni to the Mayors of U.S. cities. This letter urged them to help America reduce its oil addiction, lessen CO2 emissions, improve transportation congestion and save people money by making their cities more “scooter friendly.”
A multi-faceted campaign followed, including a presentation by Mr. Timoni at U.S. Conference of Mayors; a “gas price news bureau”; a “Vespanomics” micro-site; creation of two enthusiast blogs written by actual Vespa scooter owners; and “curbside briefings” in which individual reporters rode in tandem on Vespa scooters while learning (via podcast) about the economic and environmental benefits of scooter ownership.
The effort generated more than 100 million audience impressions via 200-plus print articles and 50-plus TV placements. Online traffic to the Vespa website grew by more than 100 percent per month to nearly one million unique visitors; and Vespa experienced a 20 percent increase in scooter sales nationwide.
CooperKatz was awarded a SABRE Certificate of Excellence for our work to conceive and launch the “Vespanomics” campaign.