Smart car’s experiential parking stunt


Parallel parking is never fun. It’s the one task that fills many drivers with dread, especially when guessing the size of an available space.Sometimes, when a gap just isn’t big enough, you may wish that the other cars would shrink ever so slightly to help you out.


With the aid of some very skilled engineers, this is exactly what happened to delighted drivers in Lisbon recently.

A bunch of unsuspecting parallel parkers were left in total shock and awe when nearby vehicles visibly halved in size before their very eyes, allowing ample room for their car to squeeze into. Onlookers looked on completely perplexed at what transpired to be a clever and highly visual experiential marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Smart car brand.


The cunning stunt quickly and effectively demonstrated a key selling point for Smart car. One of the shrinking vehicles featured a prominent strapline, stating “And suddenly the space increases. That’s the feeling of parking a Smart car.”

As with all great experiential activity, it brought the brand experience directly to the consumer, giving those that do not currently own a Smart car the liberating experience of parking in a very small gap.

The inventive use of motion sensors, coupled with engineering expertise, meant that the two rigged vehicles would automatically shrink when a parking car was detected. With the antics and driver reactions caught on camera, it certainly makes for great viewing:

Similar to Fiat’s parking billboard, this clever experiential stunt uses technology to simply and effectively demonstrate the freedom available to drivers of the smaller vehicles.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.