La Dolce Maserati, how sweet it is.

In late June Brandforming was in engaged by Maserati of Albany to help launch their dealership. There are currently only 18 dealerships across the US that represent Maserati of North America. Compare this to Chrysler which by one account has 2,390 Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealerships in the United States or BMW with 350 and right away you see the exclusivity of the offering. Maserati is one of the great marquees of the auto world, well established for their combination of high performance and luxury.

The challenge for  Maserati of Albany is that the dealership officially opened with the arrival of their first cars in June, however, the dealership retail store will not be completed until some time next year.

So how do you launch a dealership without a destination worthy of the cars themselves?

The Brandforming team sat down with the owners of the dealership, the DePaula family, to discuss some ideas and gain some insight into their approach to running one of the most successful Chevrolet dealerships in the entire country. During our conversation we were interrupted a number of calls from customers. Every call was answered and every need attended to by one of the DePaula family. This was a great example of why the DePaula’s were awarded one of the few Maserati Dealerships in the US, impeccable service.

As members of the community, the DePaula family supports a number of charitable organizations and in particular they have a love of all things horses. From these insights was born the idea for the introduction of the Maserati brand to the Albany Capital Region.

La Dolce Maserati and the #DePaulaDriveForACause were conceived as a way to link up the charitable works of the DePaula Family with their love of automobiles.

The program consists of an auction prize, La Dolce Maserati, presented at a series of Gala events in Saratoga as part of an on-going charitable program call the DePaula Drive For A Cause.

La Dolce Maserati features 2 packages for 4 people, a total of 8 from each event, to experience the sweet life. On Oct. 4 participants will board the scenic Saratoga-North Creek Railway in Saratoga. They will ride in a vintage art deco dining car with a glass viewing roof as they travel north into the mountains and the beauty of the fall season. The train ride was donated by the Saratoga and NorthCreek Railway. On board the train, participants will be served fine Italian delicacies compliments of Mazzone Hospitality. Upon arrival guests will be greeted by members of the Maserati team and checked out on their cars before setting off for a spirited drive through the mountains. On the return trip guests will receive more food and beverages and a gift bag to continue their sweet life experience while at home.

We developed the package and set work work creating the content to drive the engagement. Activation consisted of placement of content about the promotion in Gala event brochures, placement of cars at key venues around Saratoga, an exciting public relations package that included test rides for the media at opening day of the the horse track in Saratoga, and a compelling social media strategy built on Facebook, that pulled all the assets together.

The Brandforming team executed this with near flawless precision. The DePaula Drive For Charity continues to receive enormous support from the community with nearly $20,000 raised for various charities, including Saratoga Hospital.  The Oct 4 train ride is sold out with nearly 50 participants, (we had to allow for a few extra seats) Maserati of Albany went from near zero awareness to being top of mind and the talk of the season. And perhaps best of all for this business, they have already sold a number of these very fine automobiles and at the same time have elevated support for the charities involved.

In general people love knowing they can have fun and do good at the same time, we couldn’t agree more.

A great deal of what the team achieved can be found here on the event Facebook page

The page and various posts reached well over 3 thousand people, achieved 450 likes and it’s been followed by local media. In addition we achieved media pickup during a national horse racing broadcast, primetime news coverage and front page press coverage —  you can find it all on the Facebook page.

This case proves once again that when you #HeadForTheHeart, great things happen. Look for another blog post about this project as we move into the fall.