AVH and I-drive - promoting travel independence for disabled motorists

The brief...

Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH) is a national business that specialises in renting specially adapted vehicles for disabled drivers.

Despite providing a valuable service, AVH identified that there was a lack of brand awareness amongst potential customers and a certain level of resistance to commercial messages rendering traditional advertising ineffective. The previous 12 month’s print advertising campaign for example, had resulted in no new business enquiries.

Acceleris was appointed in January 2012 to raise AVH’s profile particularly in the fleet and disability sectors and to position AVH as an integral part of the disability sector and more than just a supplier of adapted vehicles.

Strategy/tactics...

With a clearly defined target audience, Acceleris developed a communications campaign that would seek to engage with the disabled community.

The central aspect of the campaign was the creation of I-drive, an information portal that would provide disabled motorists with support and information as well as a forum for discussion.

The overall aim of I-drive was to give AVH a way of changing their relationship with customers and the wider disability community, to be less transactional and to give AVH a ‘human’ face by promoting driving independence, tackling public misconceptions, and sharing positive stories.

Key elements of the campaign involved:

  • Overseeing the development of the I-drive website - researching and writing all content
  • Contacting the 40 most influential organisations and suppliers in the sector to request reciprocal web links
  • Creating regular news and blog content for the I-drive site as well as sourcing guest blogs
  • Developing a programme of media relations to raise the company's profile in key titles
  • Brokering a sponsorship agreement with Paralympic swimmer Matt Whorwood to enhance the AVH brand
  • Supporting the launch of I-drive at disability event Naidex
  • Creating a short online film of Matt Whorwood training for the Paralympics

The results...

  • Widespread media coverage was achieved across key disability, regional and fleet media in print and online
  • The link building campaign was successful, with 24 organisations/60% agreeing to link to AVH
  • Significantly increased engagement via Twitter and Facebook with numerous commercial opportunities arising from social media and an overall 45% increase in Twitter followers and a 10% increase in Facebook friends
  • I-drive was completed on time and has received a very positive response from customers and members of the disabled community

Overall the campaign has enabled AVH to engage more effectively with customers and the disabled community as well as delivering tangible commercial opportunities and partnerships for the business.

AVH has experienced an 81% increase in consumer direct business year on year, attributable in part to the successful communications activity.

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