After you watch a Sea-Doo Spark hull being hit by baseballs flying out of a pitching machine, you can watch a chef chop food atop a hull, then you can watch how an extra 170 pounds affects a tennis player before seeing a comparison of the storage units on two different PWC.
Sea-Doo in early January launched four videos in a “Highly Scientific Test” series. Each is aimed a dispelling information that, according to Sea-Doo officials, has been shared by Yamaha Watercraft Group, notably in its video “Sea-Doo Spark: How Durable Is It?” from 2014.
“Since the launch of the Sea-Doo Spark in 2013, we saw a lot of information that came out publicly on Spark that we felt was totally misleading. That information came from one of our competitors,” Sea-Doo global marketing manager Maude Desjarlais told Powersports Business.
The videos are built on humor with a man dressed as a scientist leading them. The first, featuring the pitching machine, is about impact resistance. The “scientist” ends the video by hitting the hull with a baseball bat. The second, with the chef, discusses scratch resistance. The third addresses weight, and it features a 170-pound man sitting piggyback on a tennis player to show how 170 pounds can affect performance. The fourth on storage space shows a man trying to get a lifejacket into the Spark’s storage space versus a competitor’s storage space. He has to cut up the lifejacket to fit it into the competitor’s storage spaces, while he puts it into the Spark’s storage area, with “plenty of room to spare,” the “scientist” explains.
“I believe that humor is a great way to deliver our point, yet in a funny way. I’m extremely proud and satisfied with the performance of the products and of course of the videos,” Desjarlais said.
While the videos, which were developed in partnership with creative agency Cramer-Krasselt, are designed to deliver a laugh along with a message, the points made by them are backed by legitimate scientific research, Desjarlais explained.
“All the claims that we say are scientifically tested with real tests that we did in Florida with our engineers, so in the off-season, we got the models we needed to there to do a rigorous comparison. We would never publish numbers that are not substantiated,” she said.
With only organic distribution thus far, each video has at least 62,000 views and more than 600 likes on Facebook, with the impact resistance video earning more than 128,000 views as of late January. On YouTube, each has more than 2,500 views. The videos have also been shared in Sea-Doo e-newsletters, on Sea-Doo.com and through dealership channels. They’re also being shown during boat shows at which Sea-Doo is exhibiting.
“The reactions are extremely good. If you’re looking at comments on social media, it’s very funny. On our end, I hear a lot of comments from consumers, from dealers who call their DSM, who call us and say that they like it,” Desjarlais reported.
Overall, Sparks moved well, and Sea-Doo PWC overall hit record market share in 2016. Though Yamaha has introduced its new value-priced EX — the Spark’s first rec-lite competitor — for 2017, Desjarlais says the Spark is still in a class of its own.
“Today the Spark remains the most affordable watercraft on the market,” she said. “And it’s still the lightest and the best power out there, versus the closes competitor.”
Desjarlais expects sales of the Spark, Spark Trixx, and the new GTR-X 230 to perform well during the 2017 season. She’s also excited to see the performance of the 2017 GTI and GTS, which each feature the Spark’s Polytec hull.
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