Olympic Hopeful Lures Traffic to New Site

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GMC, Detroit, is hoping U.S. track and field star Marion Jones - who is expected to bring home five gold medals in the summer Olympics -- will bring in the green, and to help, it's dropping a magazine to its customers this week supported by Web, print and TV ads that encourage consumers to visit its new Web site.

The automobile manufacturer will mail more than 210,000 copies of its biannual magazine, GMC Directions, to GMC Jimmy and Envoy owners promoting both the new partnership and this year's model of the sport utility vehicle. Consumers who have filled out business reply cards asking to receive more information on the Envoy also will receive the magazine.

"The focus of the February magazine is going to be our sponsorship of [USA Track and Field], the new Envoy and Marion Jones," said Janet Keller, assistant brand manager of marketing for Envoy. "With all of the marketing materials, we are going to look to drive people to the Web site and from there, get them to the Envoy and Olympics pages."

The first TV commercial featuring Jones aired last week during NBC's broadcast of the Golden Spike Tour. The commercial, which is scheduled to run through July, will be aired first during track and field events and then during general programming.

The Web component of the campaign is expected to launch this week with banner ads on automotive-related sites. The GMC home page will contain links to the new GMC Envoy, Olympics and Jones pages.

Also starting later this month, GMC will begin its direct response print ad campaign with ads in Sports Illustrated and in African-American-targeted magazines such as Ebony, Family Digest and Emerge.

The campaign was put together with the help of three different advertising agencies: Sandy Corp., Troy, MI, assisted with the direct component; Wimbley, Chicago, helped GMC produce the TV spot; and Digitas, Boston, was responsible for the Web effort.

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