MyWay, the largest Belgian car reseller, reached over 2.5 million people organically in its “blackmail” campaign targeting students and their parents, using humor and personalization to engage both demographics.








The Customer

MyWay is one of the major European distributors of Volkswagen, Skoda, and Audi; it’s also the largest Belgian used car reseller, with over 3,000 vehicles on sale at any given time.

For MyWay, students are the primary target group. Although many students want a MyWay car, they often don’t have the money to buy it, so they turn to parents to support them. In planning the “Blackmail” campaign, MyWay wanted to engage both demographics.

The Challenge

While it’s clear that young drivers are the car’s end users, parents are ultimately in control of the purchase decision. The MyWay marketing team needed to devise a plan to include both target groups.

The came up with a prank: to give young drivers an opportunity to “blackmail” their parents into buying them a new car. MyWay ad banners led the younger demographic to the site where they could submit a form with a threat of their choice. The options were humorous and very apropos for this audience, featuring the “I’ll put a red sock in the white laundry basket” and the “I’ll change your WiFi password” threats, among others.

After the kids had submitted their “blackmailing preferences” along with their parents’ contact information, the parents received a personalized email with a threat. If they refused to act on it, the “NO” option led them to a landing page with “the last warning.” It’s also where a cookie was placed, and the digital prank started.

Using Selligent with Google DoubleClick’s technology, MyWay customized banner ads to display the parent’s and the kid’s names along with the chosen “threat.” Highly personalized “blackmail” ads followed the parents on various sites of their Internet browsing routes.

The Results

With Selligent’s contextual personalization capabilities, MyWay was able to reach over 2.5M people at a very low cost. Using smart and funny ad creative, MyWay achieved two things: first, they collected personal information for laser-precise retargeting; second, they generated a buzz around the campaign with their cheeky “blackmail” messages. As a result,

  • 25,000 students signed up
  • 636 parents received an email
  • 2,500,000 people reached

MyWay nailed the three key components of ad personalization: the content, the context, and the technology to support it. The tone of their messages was light-hearted and not-too-edgy to avoid annoying the parents; at the same time, it was not too corny for teenagers. The brand chose the right time – end of summer, right before college and high school started – to target both students and their parents. Finally, using Selligent’s technology, MyWay created a seamless customer journey across all channels, from the landing page sign-up to emails and personalized banner ads.