Pontiac Enriches Media Buys With Van Promo

DETROIT In the wake of its wildly successful promotional giveaway on Oprah last September, General Motors’ Pontiac division will give away more than $1 million worth of Montana SV6 sport vans starting Feb. 1 on the Live With Regis and Kelly show.

The groundwork for “Live’s Pontiac Extreme Van-a-Day Giveaway” promotion will begin on Monday, when the show’s hosts, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, “will portray an extreme couple who interact with the SV6,” said Mary Kubitskey, Pontiac’s advertising manager. Philbin and Ripa will pose questions about previous shows at the end of each segment, and viewers can send in their answers for a chance to win the SV6, said Kubitskey

Pontiac’s agency, Publicis’ Chemistri of Troy, Mich., has also created spots that will run during the show starting the week of Feb. 1, said Kubitskey.

“We’re launching the SV6 in a year when we have five new launches, and, as with the G6, we don’t have unlimited resources, so we have to make our traditional ad dollars go farther,” said Kubitskey. “So we’ve made it a common practice to take whatever media buys we have and make them more rich, both for the show and for the launch of the vehicle.” She noted that Feb. 1 is the beginning of TV’s sweeps month.

Following the giveaway of 270 G6 sedans on the Oprah show, Pontiac reported a 600 percent increase in traffic to its Web site.

Kubitskey, who declined to reveal Pontiac’s total cost of the promotion, said the division does not have a specific sales objective tied to the promotion.

“The primary objective is awareness and opinion,” she said. “Regis and Kelly both give the vehicles nice endorsements—Regis liked all the gadgets like the DVD and headphones, and Kelly is a mother of three, so she liked the vehicle’s more rational aspects.”