Pontiac decodes futuristic promo tactic

Like something out of a sci-fi novel, Sunday, Oct. 30 saw Quebecers glued to their TV sets, holding up decoders to their screens and waiting for a message.

Like something out of a sci-fi novel, Sunday, Oct. 30 saw Quebecers glued to their TV sets, holding up decoders to their screens and waiting for a message.

In a futuristic promo dreamed up by Montreal’s Blitz Direct, Data & Promotion, General Motors distributed 1.5 million promo bags with decoders throughout Quebec the week leading up to the ADISQ gala (Quebec’s answer to the Grammys), which aired on Radio-Canada. During the show, which was sponsored by Pontiac, viewers held a colour-coded decoder, supplied by Quebecor, up to their TV screens to read an ‘instant win’ message. Oshawa, Ont.-based GM Canada gave away 25 cars that night as part of a multi-level awareness program.

‘Pontiac is a sponsor of the ADISQ and they wanted to generate awareness around the 2006 models,’ explains Isabelle Adam, account executive at Blitz. ‘The gala usually generates 900,000 viewers on average in Quebec.’

Called ‘crève l’écran,’ the promo targeted adults 18-44. Street teams that distributed the decoders were dispatched strategically to areas with a high concentration of non-Pontiac owners, as determined by company research.

TV spots produced by Radio-Canada invited folks to tune in to the show, and reminded them to hold on to their decoders. Radio teasers directed traffic to a microsite at www.25pontiacs.com where visitors could sign up online for a chance to win gift certificates from entertainment ticketing company Admission, a division of Toronto-based Ticketmaster Canada.

At press time, Blitz planned to do a phone survey to help gauge the promo’s effectiveness.