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Oldsmobile Gets Dorothy to Wizard in Time

One million car and minivan owners received a mailing from Oldsmobile, Lansing, MI, last week showing Dorothy and Toto getting ready to cruise down the yellow brick road in a Silhouette Premiere minivan.

The connection is that the new Silhouette Premiere is the first minivan to come with a full entertainment system, including a VCR and pull-down monitor along with a CD and cassette player, as standard equipment.

“The purpose of the piece here is to drive home the point that this minivan is the only vehicle of its kind that has the ability to play movies and video games,” said Anne Ream, vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett, Chicago, the ad agency running the campaign.

Through an agreement with Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting, Oldsmobile was able to create other mail pieces where the minivan appears with King Kong and Tom and Jerry.

“We have to reach the right consumers in an impactful and meaningful way,” said Joni Rainbolt, Silhouette's assistant brand manager at Oldsmobile. “We are using all of the tools in the marketing mix.”

The mailings are the latest part of an integrated marketing campaign that will run through November. Oldsmobile targeted four groups of people with customized mailings: existing Oldsmobile minivan owners, people who owned minivans from Oldsmobile's competitors, drivers who have expressed interest in owning minivans and mid-size car owners.

“The mailings were customized around who was receiving the piece,” Ream said. “Competition brand owners got a package containing a totally different message from Oldsmobile owners.”

The pieces contain information on the minivan, including details on the new entertainment system, as well as an offer for a $50 Blockbuster Giftcard for those who test drive the Silhouette Premiere at an Oldsmobile dealership. To get the card, recipients have to fill out a questionnaire which the dealer will validate.

Ream said it was too early to have any response from the mailings but earlier parts of the campaign have received good results. Print ads first appeared last month in Blockbuster Video publications as well as People, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair and Newsweek. By responding to the print ads and calling the toll-free number to set up a test drive, people were able to receive a $25 Blockbuster Giftcard.

Movie-like posters of the minivan with Dorothy and call-to-action pamphlets containing toll-free numbers were placed in Blockbuster stores throughout the country. Oldsmobile also is running commercial spots on video screens inside Blockbuster stores, and 60-second commercial spots are running in movie theaters listing a toll-free number to call for more details. Online, information can be found on the Oldsmobile, Blockbuster and newly constructed Silhouette Premiere Web sites.

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