Renault’s YouTube video featuring its Captur mini-crossover is as controversial as it is effective in attracting attention. Here is why. The video shows a gang of masked daytime robbers who forced two innocent people -- a man and a woman -- to help them get away in a Captur to a given destination.
The robbers had their “victims” use the navigation application of the R-Link infotainment system installed in the Captur to guide them to their “base.” It turned out in the end that all was an act. The video has generated over 5 million views since its release in June.
Viewer reception for the YouTube video was mixed, with 494 hitting “Dislike” versus 579 clicking “Like.”
Some YouTube users gave positive yet cautious comments, saying that it was "original and offbeat, but it remains to be seen whether the cars live up to Renault's claims." Other users threw negative comments, with some even calling for a boycott of the Renault brand.
Isabelle Fossecave, Renault's head of promotion and advertising for France, told Automotive News Europe correspondent Bruce Gain that the video aims to convince the carmaker’s target audience to view the brand differently and to eventually test drive one of their vehicles.
The video is part of the carmaker’s media campaign aimed at shaking up how the brand is perceived in Europe. Fossecave said that their goal was to expand their reach to “a public that has not been very enthusiastic about the brand.” The video is also proof of carmakers’ increasing use of social media venues like YouTube as a key social networking channel to communicate with potential customers.