Piaggio Ape E-City

Piaggio’s introduction of APE E-City – stylistic electric three-seater in the commercial passenger autorickshaw segment – was a challenging campaign but not an impossible one for IOPL.

The activation was rolled out across touchpoints in Kozhikode & Trivandrum in Kerala state. They included Arakinar, Bilathikulam, East-Hill, Karaparambhu, Malaparambhu, Mini Bypass, Nallalam, Pavangad & West Hill.

Objective of the campaign:

The core idea driving the APE E-City Activation was to increase brand awareness and position the brand as the best option when it comes to commercial passenger autorickshaws in the electric segment.

Being in the eco-friendly electric segment, the APE E-city offered several advantages to the customers such as Rs 50,000 lower cost compared to its competition vehicle, sleek design & style.

Since this was going to be a new experience for the customers as the product fell in a niche segment, the creative team of IOPL focussed on packaging the activation with a touch-and-feel experience.

For this, the Target Audience was provided test drives to get the feel of the superior power and speed of the electric vehicle. 

List of activities:

The APE E-City activation involved scouting for crowded touchpoints frequented by three-wheeler drivers in locations across Kozhikode & Trivandrum by our on-ground team.


Once the touchpoint was identified in association with the local dealership, IOPL activation team took up a pre-activity campaign by meeting, greeting and inviting the prospective Target Audience.


The TGs were welcomed with Piaggio Safety Kit at the promo table at APE E-City activation point by the emcee, promoter & supervisor on the day of the main activity.


They have explained the unique features of the electric vehicle and handed over the promotional material, followed by engaging activities to make them aware of the key features of the vehicle.


For a touch & feel experience, the interested TGs were invited to take the test drive of the electric vehicle.

Challenges in the campaign:

The APE E-City Activation had a positive outcome with enthusiastic participation from the Target Audience for test drives but there were ground challenges that were not in the control of the brand.


Though APE E-City costs Rs 50,000 lesser than its competition vehicle and had several other USPs like its stylistic looks, design and other features, the on-ground activation team had to deal with issues that the customers brought them to their knowledge.


In some of the activation touchpoints, some of the customers who evinced interest in APE E-City stated that they were facing pressure from fuel-driven autorickshaw owners, who had formed a group and desisting anyone with an electric vehicle to join them. 


The three-wheeler transporters were also struggling with the post-covid impact as sufficient load was not available for them in the market during that time.


The Covid-19 had dented their earning capacity as well by more than half compared to what they used to earn in the Pre-Covid days. Some of them were forced to work on alternate days in shifts at auto stands to get their turn.


There was active participation from the TGs as they were enthusiastic and curious to try new electric vehicles from the Piaggio brand. Through the APE E-City activation, quality leads were generated for the brand using OTP linked Target Audience tracking & verification system. 


Here is the summary of the key takeaways from the activation: