Thousands flocked into Oldsmobile dealerships to test drive the Intrigue. The result: The Southfield, Mich., office of Frankel & Co. ad agency won the Best of Show Golden Target award for a direct-marketing campaign on behalf of the Oldsmobile sedan.
Trio Communications in Ferndale, Mich., captured first place in the automotive direct-marketing category for its GM EV1 electric car campaign.
The awards were handed out recently in Detroit by the Direct Marketing Association, which used the response rates from the campaigns as much of the judging criteria.
The two-part Oldsmobile campaign in 1998 involved a 10-city tour that invited people to test drive the Intrigue. There was also an Intrigue sponsorship of a movie, The X-Files: Fight the Future, which rewarded test drivers with movie passes. The city tour netted 8,500 test drives, and the movie sponsorship generated 45,000 test drives.
Trio impressed the judges by reporting that its direct-mail campaign from May to June 1998, a straightforward mailer describing the environmental benefits of GM's EV1, yielded a 5 percent response rate.
The direct-mail piece was responsible for 549 test drives - or 75 percent of the test drives attributed to Trio's total marketing campaign - for the electric car, which is available only in California and Arizona.