The customers of Bentley’s future are not the car fans of today. They care more about mobility, green energy and connectedness than power and metal – they are more likely to buy experiences than possessions. So Bentley created a new brand vision, embodied through a collaborative concept car, aimed to attract non-car ‘Life Achievers’ to experience the journeys of tomorrow, and share Bentley’s world with theirs. Product, marketing and British craft collaborators worked hand in hand to push beyond typically classic luxury audiences into a greener, more digital demographic – and elicit genuine commentary around innovation, sustainability and collaboration to start a recalibration of the brand’s perception.
The brief was to build awareness and stimulate positive conversations about the Bentley brand for its 100th birthday celebrations among new luxury audiences, Bentley wanted to use this epic anniversary to reflect on a century of luxury excellence and look ahead to their futuristic vision of driving by unveiling their centenary concept car, the Bentley EXP100GT. Bentley is known for luxurious, powerful cars, but through their future brand vision, Bentley wanted to shift brand perceptions and get new audiences talking about the brand’s sustainable, collaborative and innovative credentials while remaining true to their luxury DNA.
We built “The Future of Extraordinary Journeys,” a multisensory installation in Bentley’s flagship Crewe showroom that let people preview the EXP 100 GT, an inspirational concept car that represents Bentley’s futuristic vision of driving. The installation event allowed attendees to preview the concept car’s exciting and innovative features, including electrification and autonomous driving.
While the installation centred around the concept car, we didn’t want it to feel like a typical automotive event. Instead of a traditional car launch, we created an exhibition that took visitors on a journey, highlighting Bentley’s history of excellence and introducing its futuristic vision of luxury grand touring. It’s not easy to explain a car or technological capabilities that won’t exist until 2035, so we leaned on the emotions and memories that are tied to traveling by car to translate the vision. As well as delivering an experiential physical installation, we also livestreamed the event for virtual attendees and supported the event with a shareable content campaign and a transportable AR App for Bentley showrooms, to showcase the concept car remotely.
Bentley stands for craft and craftsmanship so UNIT9, with their own exceptionally high standards, were the perfect partner for this project, which lets us communicate Bentley’s extraordinary journey into the future to people all over the world.Louise Burns, Head of Strategic Marketing Projects, Bentley
After experiencing the EXP 100 GT, not only did people get a better understanding of Bentley’s 2035 concept car, but they also formed a deep emotional connection to the brand.
Highly influential invitees engaged in a truly human experience supported by an integrated digital user journey, resulting in 48 million social and paid impressions, 23,000 hashtag uses and 1.3 million new website visitors. Total positive brand mentions increased by 20%, and share of brand conversation increased towards innovation (+14%), sustainability (+6%) and collaboration (+6%).
In the end, we helped Bentley hint at what the future of driving could be like and usher in a new era of excellence, honouring the hard work of the last 100 years while looking ahead to the next 100.
For Bentley's Centenary celebration we created a multisensory installation that let people preview the EXP 100 GT, the inspirational concept car that represents Bentley’s futuristic vision of driving.