NEW YORK - Buick has been flooded with hundreds of thousands of Internet responses to a sweepstakes in which the division is giving away 45 cars in 45 days.
Internet responses are 'dwarfing' phone responses to a toll-free number by more than 2 to 1, said Roger Adams, Buick's marketing general manager.
He said that in the first five days of the contest, which began March 17, www.buick.com got more than 200,000 responses - at least twice as many as by phone.
Adams said the number of sweepstakes entries is encouraging, but conquest sales are the true goal. The contest ends May 1.
Customers who electronically submit personal information, including what car they drive, get a 'game ticket' by e-mail. To find out whether a customer has won, the ticket must be compared to a display at a Buick dealership. Lesser prizes include personal computers or a year's free Internet access.
Buick also is offering a $500 rebate on the Regal solely via the Internet. The rebate is being advertised on the Internet on the parent company's site, www.gmbuypower.com.
Buick has a reputation of appealing to the elderly. But Adams said Buick owners are more Internet savvy than the company expected. He said the average age for Buick owners is 54, but the owners split sharply between 60-plus loyalists and newcomers in their 30s and 40s.
'The point is, we're getting responses from people who are not exclusively younger - although a lot of them are younger,' Adams said.
All Buick advertising campaigns now include significant Internet activity, said John Wray, spokesman for Buick's ad agency, McCann-Erickson Worldwide.