Polybag promo ploy

By Published on .

Autobytel.com is turning to the old-media tactic of polybagging to convince consumers that buying a vehicle via its Autobytel Direct online car lot is as convenient as having the Sunday paper tossed onto the front stoop.

On April 16, more than 1 million newspaper subscribers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco will receive their Sunday papers in a polybag featuring an ad promoting Autobytel's "Four-Door to Your Door" sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes is part of an integrated campaign created by Grey Advertising and Promotions.com, both New York. The latter agency devised the sweepstakes promotion, which also includes a heavy online element with 1.4 million direct e-mails, as well as banner ads expected to generate 2 million impressions.


Online promotions are an increasingly popular marketing tool. According to a new Forrester Research report, marketers are expected to sink $1.8 billion this year into online promotions. That figure is estimated to jump to $14 billion in five years. The spending figures don't include the value of offline portions of promotional campaigns such as the polybag effort by Autobytel.

Promotions.com last year organized an Autobytel sweepstakes on Webstakes.com that gave away a convertible. For this year's effort, direct e-mail will resemble the polybag ad. The ad contains a numbered key that individuals can compare with a key at autobytel. com to determine if they have won the car.

"We've taken our integrated [marketing] up a notch by adding a couple more elements, namely the direct marketing part," said Ann Delligatta, chief operating officer at Autobytel. "We have selected people to receive the direct marketing to reiterate that [Autobytel Direct] is as easy as the delivery of the newspaper."


The Autobytel site allows consumers to research car information, browse a virtual car lot, buy or sell a car and receive regular maintenance information about their vehicles.

General TV spots that broke late last month via Grey show several newspapers being tossed onto lawns followed by a car spinning across the screen and landing on the driveway in front of a disgruntled bulldog.

As the sedan jolts to a stop, the voice-over states: "Direct from Autobytel. Thousands of cars, low upfront pricing and free delivery."

Consumers will be seeing more of the dog. It also appears on the Web site and will be a recurring image and likely mascot for Autobytel.

Most Popular
In this article: