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Cadillac dealership leverages mobile marketing at auto show

San Diego-based Cadillac dealership Marvin K. Brown Auto Center used mobile to generate buzz around the new CTS car and drive people to its location.

The dealer tapped Ping Mobile to create a campaign with a call to action on the Cox Media network, asking local viewers to text CTS to 269411 to receive a free gas card. The campaign was designed around the 2009 San Diego Auto Show, where the dealer had a booth set up.

"The strategy for this client's campaign was to engage visitors to the 2009 San Diego Auto Show and make their booth stand out as much as possible, and not just fade into the background like white noise," said Shira Simmonds, president of Ping Mobile, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

"They also wanted to generate buzz and drive people to their dealership using the incentive of a free gas card," she said. "The use of Bluetooth was also implemented in order to push out an image of the new Cadillac CTS-V.

"The strategy for this was to create more hype about the new product release, at the venue itself- allowing people to view the car directly on their phones."

Viewers who texted in received a message that said, "Show this msg @ the MKB Cadillac Dealership when U Test Drive Any '09 Cadillac CTS & get a FREE $25 Gas Card! Hurry, valid Only while supplies last!"

After recieveing the first text message, consumers received another one asking them to opt-in for information on the Cadillac CTS.

The message said, "Do U LOVE Cars as much as we do? Reply YES 2get Cadillac Xclusive invites & offers. Mx4msgs/mo. Std txt rts apply. Reply YES Now!"

"The challenge was that the dealership had to find a way to differentiate itself from every other auto dealer at the show without the use of fixed signage -- something that was prohibited by the organizers of the auto show," Ms. Simmonds said.

This isn't the first time that Cadillac cars were promoted via mobile.

"Mobile was an excellent fit for the dealership because it was able to stand out at the auto show despite the fact that it was not permitted to use fixed signage which would hinder any brand's promotional ability," Ms. Simmonds said.

Marvin K. Brown Auto Center overcame the fixed signage barrier by having a model mingling with the visitors, wearing a T-shirt that had the promotion printed on the front and back of it.

"Mobile was an innovative way to catch people's attention and make their dealership stand out," Ms. Simmonds said. "Additionally, the Bluetooth component enabled the client to further enhance their overall campaign by attracting the attention of visitors, driving them to their booth.

"The use of Bluetooth was also a complimentary addition to the model that was used," she said.