Instagram, a model & a Holden do they really go hand in hand?

With much of the recent focus on Holden relating to the end of car manufacturing in Australia in 2017, they needed to get savvy with their next marketing campaign to stay ahead of the pack.

So what did they do: A Celebrity Ambassador,

  • Cue Alex Pendlebury, brand ambassador for the newly released Holden Cascada.  Alex is a nutritionist, health & wellness advisor, director of Progression Fitness Club, model, blogger, wife of Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury & Instagram account holder with 28,000 followers, the perfect recipe for capturing a large audience of young women.



Gone are the days of simply marketing the traditional Holden Commodore to the loyal Australian after an Australian made car, in a bold move they have specifically targeted 25-44-year-old females for the release of the new model Holden Cascada and they need a well designed marketing strategy to capture this new audience.

  • Holden’s Director of Marketing & Customer Experience Geraldine Davy describes the Australian car industry as the most competitive in the world (models per capita), with greater options than we have ever had before.


Through a situational analysis of the current automotive industry Holden has established their strengths and weaknesses and compared themselves to competitors such as Mazda & Jeep.  Mazda has the fresh young & like able ambassador Lauren Phillips, whilst popular model & television presenter Rachel Finch is a Jeep ambassador.

It seems obvious that Holden would follow suit to promote their cars and similarly use Alex Pendlebury who has a profile & status that attracts huge numbers of social media followers to their campaign.

  • A situational analysis allows the company to assess the current strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities for development and threats from competitors.




With their 5 brand strategies revealed it is clear that Holden has focused on the 5 C’s of marketing and has clear goals they want to achieve.  Knowing your customer is the key to formulating a great marketing strategy, Iacobucci describes the current marketing world as “truly customer – orientated and customer empowered.”

So what are their brand strategies and how to they relate to the 5 C’s of Marketing?

Customer, Company, Context, Collaborators and Competitors


Tap into Modern Australia

This is all about Holden tapping into & engaging with a new market of the 25-44-year-old females with the same product, therefore hoping for greater market penetration with new customers.  In this age group social media has a huge influence over what they buy and how they live their lives, whether this is through fashion websites or blogs, healthy eating and exercise so why should the automotive industry be any different from these everyday lifestyle choices with their marketing strategies.

Holden’s Davy states they are trying to align with the lifestyle of making the most out of every day and meeting the needs of this modern Australia by taking them on a journey with this brand.





Pay Social Influencers to be your ambassadors

Many leading automotive brands use celebrity power to promote their products & Holden is no different, however choosing the right celebrity allows them to keep up with their competitors and offers the target audience a reputable brand ambassador.


Holden ambassador model Alex Pendlebury photographed by @OracleFoxBlog for the brand’s sponsored Instagram campaign



Harness your customer’s emotions

Holden is marketing a car that focuses on luxury and style and attempting to convince women that this is a sophisticated & stylish purchase.  A clever strategy to appeal to their target audience by saying we know you like this lifestyle & we have the product for you.

Sponsorship at events like Runway Weekend, a stand alone fashion, beauty & style event enable fantastic exposure to the target audience.




Find the right channel to engage with your customer

“We wanted to make sure we were driving more women into Holden’s owned channels, including the websites, social channels, CRM and of course into our Holden dealerships.  That meant we had to do a bit of creative repositioning.” Geraldine Davis.


Acknowledging that the communication to a new audience was going to be different to their previous campaigns, and that they paid influencers such as See Want Shop, Sarah Ellison and Oracle Fox Blog to write posts, allowed them to work with collaborators to get their product out there & be seen on many different forms of media to really target the customer.  Davys has told CRM that Holden has had the highest brand awareness results out of any global auto campaign on Instagram to date.”

With this in mind does that mean now that Holden become the chased in this demographic??  Certainly some powerful marketing.


And lastly ……..  Future proof your brand

With the car industry as competitive as ever, and Holden nearing the end of Australian production in 2017, their future in the Australian car market has never been so important.  They have been a leading manufacturer in Australia with a reputable brand that has become synonymous with car lovers but now they must engage in new strategies to compete and maintain their well-known strengths of reliability and affordability for the average Australian.

Deakin Student ID 216315528, Donnar



Instagram Alex Pendlebury

Iacobucci, D 2014. Marketing Managment MM4. Mason: South Western.

Icha, Omoyza; Edwin, Agwu. Effectiveness of Social Media Networks as a strategic tool for organization marketing management, Journal of Internet Banking & Commerce. Jan 2016 Special Issue, Vol. 21 Issue S2, pg 1-19.

Holden Australia


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