Christine Blanksvard likes to search the Web for contests. That's how she discovered Chevy was giving away a Tracker to the contestant who could name the exotic location in which the small sport-utility was traveling. The 35-year-old nurse from Salem, Ore., correctly guessed the spot - Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic - and was awarded her new Tracker last month.
'Winning a car really intrigued me,' Blanksvard says, 'so I immediately went to the site.'
Blanksvard was among 1.4 million people who entered the contest - 1.3 million of them on the Tracker.com site on the Internet. Chevy hopes at least a million more will get a gander at the Tracker during the second phase of the contest, which will run through Sept. 30.
As part of the contest, people who ask for Tracker product information and follow up with a test drive of the vehicle get a pleasant surprise: a $50 savings bond that is not mentioned in the Internet information. Mary Letterman, communications planning director for the Tracker at Campbell-Ewald advertising, says 6 percent of the people who received a product packet from Chevy have followed up with test drives and received the bonds.
She would not say how many bonds had been issued, but said that about half of the 1.3 million people who entered the first contest on the Tracker.com site were looking at product information while entering the contest.
'The use of the Internet is really growing,' says Tom Suman, Tracker assistant brand manager. 'We can relate it to sales.'
Tracker sales through July were up 64 percent to 21,591 but still were far below competitors Honda CR-V at 70,704, Jeep Wrangler at 56,181 and Toyota RAV4 at 35,803.
Suman is betting the Tracker's Internet strategy will continue to cut the competition's lead. Says Suman: 'With Tracker, we may have hit on something that's effective.'