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By Published on .

Cadillac is taking the time to smell the roses since it believes potential customers are doing likewise.

The division of General Motors Corp. is sponsoring six flower and garden shows this year through its Cadillac Gardening Series.

The program has bloomed considerably since Cadillac's first flower show appearance three years ago in Los Angeles.

"The response was so good [in L.A.] we decided to take a look at adding them to our portfolio of sponsorship events," said Steve Hill, director of national merchandising at Cadillac.

Flower show demographics indeed tend to skew toward women, Mr. Hill said, "but we don't do anything special to appeal to women."


The audience Cadillac seeks-upscale baby boomers-is the same crowd attending flower and garden shows, Mr. Hill said.

Cadillac was the premier sponsor of last week's Philadelphia Flower & Garden Show; it's also exclusive car sponsor this year of shows in Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Indianapolis and New York.

More than 350,000 were expected to attend the Philadelphia show; about 30,000 are forecast for the L.A. garden show, for which Cadillac is still negotiating its role.

At most shows, Cadillac's De-Ville and Catera models will be on display; two or three cars will be accompanied by a major horticultural centerpiece at the shows.

Cadillac also provides consumers the chance to get free garden show tickets before the event by test-driving a Cadillac or visiting a dealer. At the show, consumers are invited to participate in Cadillac's Measure of Challenge program, answering basic questions about their lifestyles and Cadillac.

Events surrounding the garden shows are additional important marketing opportunities for Cadillac.

"We also host receptions and black-tie events," Mr. Hill said. "These shows are almost as big as automobile shows now."

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