Turo Canada aims to curate once-in-a-lifetime experiences

This has been a busy year for the car-sharing service Turo Canada, which has unveiled a series of attention-getting activations that put the “experience” in driving experience.

The brand earned some attention in our hockey-mad nation earlier this year, when it introduced a dedicated ice cleaner for backyard rinks called the Turo SK8.

That was followed up by a large out-of-home  campaign in partnership with Metrolinx GO Transit in Toronto’s Union Station that involved train wraps, and brand ambassador activations around key sporting events. And, most recently, there’s been two more experiential activations: The “Drive to Table” initiative with Michelin, and a Jonas Brothers partnership.

Typically, the Turo Canada’s marketing strategy relies on a balance of digital and out-of-home in terms of media, said senior director of marketing, Bassem El-Rahimy.

But the shared theme among all of the activations this year has been delivering unforgettable experiences, he said.

Internally, Turo divides its users into two main camps: “particular curators” and “experience chasers.”

“Particular creators have an image of themselves that they live out day in and day out, and unique vehicles are a component of delivering that image,” said El-Rahimy. “While experience chasers are looking for once in a lifetime experiences that match their personalities.”

For “Drive to Table,” Turo partnered with four Michelin-star restaurant chefs in Vancouver and Toronto to offer chef-selected vehicle rental packages. Each booking between Oct. 28 and Dec. 16 includes a personalized driving itinerary, a reservation for two at the associated Michelin star restaurant, and a one-night stay at a Michelin Guide hotel.

Meanwhile the Jonas Brothers campaign is the brand’s most significant celebrity partnership in Canada to date.

As part of the promotion, the brothers, who are currently on the North American leg of a world tour, listed six cars on the platform–three in Vancouver and three in Montreal—with the people who booked them receiving VIP tickets and an-in person key handoff from one of the brothers.

“The Jonas Brothers love road trips, both in their personal lives and on the road; they’re really automobile enthusiasts,” said El-Rahimy. Their connection to cars creates a natural opportunity for Turo to demonstrate its ability to create unique experiences for guests. “That’s really how we’re looking ahead at future partnerships with celebrities.”

To raise awareness, Turo relied mainly on earned media coverage to spread the message. Only a small investment was made into paid media and content on Turo channels.

The goal going forward, said El-Rahimy, is to continue creating experiences that are memorable and exclusive. “Whether it’s celebrity campaigns, cultural stunts or sponsorship opportunities, these are all things we’re considering to make sure that more Canadian guests have the brand top of mind,” he said.

Emma Johnston-Wheeler