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The concept: Branding online

The technology: Sweepstakes, interactive games

The scoop: Early this month, Pontiac ( is launching a Web sweepstakes as part of the push for the 1998 Grand Prix. The promotion is tied to the car's second year as a sponsor of Winterfest at 100 downhill ski mountains. The five grand prizes are four-day, three-night trips to a Winterfest contest site, along with lift tickets, use of wide skis and a Wide Track Grand Prix. Twenty Dryve snowboards will also be awarded.

The first drawing is Feb. 13. Bill Heugh, the car's brand manager, said Winterfest is "perfect for us" because skiers' demographics match Grand Prix's 35-to-45-year-old target. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., handles Pontiac's $185 million national advertising and oversees Web site development.

The Pontiac site, updated by DMB&B last fall, also lets visitors select colors and options for a Sunfire car, play a "virtual keyboard" and hear different Firebird engine sounds.

The agency also created a new Web site ( for the launch of Pontiac's 1999 Grand Am later this month.

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