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Case Study: How Car Brand Built Customer Relations Through Native Video

Aug 16, 2017

This case study is part of a collection of award-winning native advertising examples studies from Native Advertising Awards presented by The Native Advertising Institute.

We aim to acknowledge and reward great native advertising and promote inspiring, effective and creative work that helps organisations worldwide achieve their goals and tell great brand stories in a non-disruptive way.

Hanza Media, Native Ad Studio, Dacia/Dacia Duster


By launching a video series linking the values of the client with the values of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Team, Hanza Media’s Native Ad Studio reached the KPIs for the campaign in just one day. The campaign launched in August 2016.

To engage the customers of the automotive brand Dacia in an emotional way that would deepen the relationship with the brand, while raising awareness of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Team’s courage and devotedness. Dacia sponsors the rescue team which enables them to highlight the brand message: “Dacia. Reliable, no matter what.”

Creative idea
Creating the three part video serial “A True Story of Courage and Devotedness.”

Dacia is an official Croatian Mountain Rescue Team sponsor. Croatian Mountain Rescuers are famous for their high skills level, courage, devotedness, and modesty. They are available 24/7 to rescue anyone anywhere, even the places where the police or army can not reach. They are volunteers and do not get paid for their services.

Dacia shares values similar to them. The small and agile Dacia Duster is a practical car for rescuers who use it in areas that are difficult to access, such as forests or mountains. Accordingly, Dacia customers are ordinary people who value reliability and not status and look for a car they can rely on in all situations. Media coverage of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Team has mostly focused on rescue operations.


Instead, Native Ad Studio brought together the rescuer and the victim for the first time after the dramatic events that changed their lives forever in a three part video documentary. The story of courage, reliability, and devotedness was told through intimate meetings with the people involved in close-to-fatal accidents.

The videos never explicitly tell consumers to buy Dacia and don’t mention Dacia Croatia.

The videos were shot on location, in the victims’ homes or in the mountains where the accidents happened, to emphasize the authenticity and bring to life the Dacia brand values. The videos never explicitly tell consumers to buy Dacia and don’t mention Dacia Croatia. Dacia Duster, branded as a Croatian Mountain Rescue Team car, appears in three scenes.

Size of team involved
Six internal and three external.

The native ad campaign ran on the homepage and associated mobile platforms and social feeds. Articles featuring videos were published on’s Facebook page as link posts. Additionally, each video has been posted on Face- book as a standalone FB video.

The agreed KPIs were exceeded on the first day. The video documentary was a viral success with more than 800,000 views.

The native ad campaign lasted seven days 05/08/2016 - 12/08/2016. The agreed KPIs were exceeded on the first day. Promotion of the video series through a display campaign on Hanza Media digital platforms resulted in 3.3 million impressions. In addition, Facebook campaigns have been used in order to boost engagement rate and number of impressions.

The video documentary was a viral success with more than 800,000 views. This level of performance has not been seen in any native campaigns in Croatia and is rarely matched by editorial content. The comments were highly positive and emotional. Due to the readers’ strong support, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Team thanked all the citizens that watched a video and that support their work. Readers still share the videos so the results continue in perpetuity.

  • Video views 170,656
  • Facebook video views: 633,047
  • Facebook reach: 2,740,290
  • Facebook likes, shares, comments: 15,414
  • Attention time as an average per view: 02.27 min
  • The Dacia native video was among the top six most read articles on
  • The Dacia video series is among the top 20 most viewed videos on Croatia’s #1 news website


Johanne Eliasson is the former editor of the Native Advertising Institute.

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