OLDS ENLISTS DEALERS TO SELL BRAVADA: MOROCH, BURNETT COLLABORATE ON N'WEST PROMOTION

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Oldsmobile, for the first time, is teaming with dealers to promote the Bravada, beginning a coordinated campaign to double sales of the sport-utility in the Pacific Northwest.

The ad campaign offers ski lift vouchers to consumers who test drive the Bravada.

In addition to increasing sales, Jim Van Kirk, Olds' assistant brand manager for marketing, said Olds-mobile wants to raise the brand awareness of its sport-utility.

THE SKIING LIFESTYLE

"We are tying into the skiing lifestyle to get on people's minds and generate awareness of the Bravada brand," said Mr. Van Kirk.

"Typically, these kinds of promotions are done on the local level without a lot of factory participation," he added. "This is our first time on this brand to really hold hands and try to do something collectively."

Working together on the Bravada program were individual dealers; their dealer associations' ad agency, Moroch & Associates, Dallas; lead Olds agency Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; and Oldsmobile's regional offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Pat Kempf, chairman of Moroch, said his agency worked on part of the creative and placed the media in Spokane, Wash., while Burnett placed advertising in Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

Oldsmobile conducted ride-and-drives with salespeople in participating dealerships so they would be able to explain to consumers the differences between the Bravada and its two main competitors, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer.

The campaign includes TV, print ads and some radio commercials. The division pays for TV and radio commercials, while the dealer groups and individual stores are paying for print ads.

The campaign started last week and will run through March 22.

BAD WEATHER A PLUS

Oldsmobile picked the Pacific Northwest because of its inclement weather and mountainous roads. The combination makes the area a good market for four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Mr. Van Kirk indicated that the same campaign could be used in the Northeast.

Oldsmobile needs to do something to jump start sales of the Bravada, which has been on the market since 1991. It sold only 19,417 Bravadas in calendar years 1995 and 1996.

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