It can be tough for car manufacturers wanting to reach potential female buyers. Women may chuckle at the chaps' antics on Top Gear, but they won't buy the magazine. Women's mags rarely do cars. I always suspect it's because the editors live in London and use taxis. So to publicise the DS3, Citroen has entered into an imaginative partnership with popular make-up brand Benefit and the online fashion retailer ASOS. There's even a competition to win a car. Smart move.
Citroen and Benefit are both great at packaging. I keep Benefit boxes long after the product has been used to the nub. As for Citroen, the French car manufacturer has always been the Jean-Paul Gautier of motoring. It has a rich heritage of quirky and elegant design, and the current funky Citroen DS3 is named after the long, sleek DS you’ll often spot in classic films shot in Paris.
The standard DS3 has a passing resemblance to an orca with its sloping nose, two-tone colour scheme and side fin. It also cocked a snook at colour wisdom in the car industry, which said that no one would want to be seen in girly colours such as pink. Actually they do, and the DS3’s vibrant fuchsia roof, either plain or patterned has been a huge success.
Citroen has now produced a brace of cars in colour schemes inspired by its make-up range, and we're promised more will follow. The DS3 DSign by Benefit evokes Benefit’s first product, Benetint. Starting at £14,795, it goes for a white roof and mirror covers to contrast with its ruby red bodywork. Other premium touches are the 17-inch alloy wheels with chrome detailing, LED daytime running lights, and inside, plush Alcantara seats, air conditioning, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Under the bonnet there’s an economical 82bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine.
The DS3 DStyle by Benefit was inspired by the bold, quirky packaging of Benefit’s popular mascara, they’re real! It has smouldering shark grey paintwork and dark tinted windows, an orange roof and mirror caps mirrors and 17-inch black alloy wheels with orange wheel centre caps. The D Style has a more powerful 120bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and prices start from £16,795.
In both cars, when the new owners open the glovebox, they’ll find a make-up bag stuffed with Benefit goodies. The first 10 cars sold also come with £200 in Asos vouchers.
To view the DS3 by Benefit series, or the enter the competition to win a DS3 DSign by Benefit RRP £14,795, visit www.asos.com/citroen
Tweet @BenefitUK #Drivenbybeauty