National Merchandising Manager
Oldsmobile Division, General Motors Corp.
We're a relatively new Frankel client; we began our relationship about five months ago. We recently decided that to carry out good integration of our marketing efforts, we needed special expertise in certain areas. So, rather than the usual practice of using one marketing agency, we selected a portfolio of agencies with specialized expertise to handle specific tasks.
We decided Frankel fit the bill for promotion. We were looking for expertise in strategic thinking, execution, building our brand. We got a good feeling from our meetings that they understand integrated marketing. They're not just a promotion agency. They understand that advertising, point-of-sale, direct, anything that touches the consumer, should be integrated well. And the fact that they did not have an automotive background was appealing to us.
They are now beginning to handle our national and regional promotions, working with us on auto shows and some training activities.
We've been very impressed with their creativity, their strategic thinking, the whole way they approach the business. It's super working with people like Bud Frankel, Jim Mack and Rex Smith [VP-account director]. The ideas Frankel has pitched have been very nontraditional. That's good for us, because with some of our new models, we're targeting a different demographic: younger, more affluent, better educated. So we want to shift away from traditional approaches. Frankel is helping us do this and get to those folks.
For example, to help us launch a new model called the Intrigue this summer, Frankel created a series of "buzz tactics" to get some word-of-mouth going on the vehicle. One of these tactics is to take new Intrigues to several major cities and drive them on busy toll roads where our target customers drive. At toll plazas, the Intrigue driver will tell the toll-taker: "I'm paying for me and for the 10 vehicles behind me." When these motorists reach the toll booth, they're given a card saying "compliments of Intrigue." The promotion piece also shows a picture of the new model and where to get more information on Intrigue. This technique gets conversation going about the car; other promotions follow a few weeks later.
Another new campaign is a large, targeted direct mail program for the 88 model nationwide. It's designed to bring current and past owners into our dealerships to see new the new models. We're using the incentive of savings bond to do that.