Acura will offer a version of its interactive dealership kiosks to consumers at home through the @Home Internet service.
Consumers will click through Acura ads on @Home to a site created by Genex Interactive in Los Angeles that features rich-media information on Acura Division. The high-capacity 'broad-band' service starts Monday, Aug. 30.
Ann Palmer, Acura's assistant manager for national advertising, said the automaker will move more extensively to rich media as part of a push 'to clarify what Acura is to consumers.'
'This is part of an ongoing effort to deliver rich media and high technology that our customers want and can use,' Palmer said. 'The kiosk material was something that could be used, but the direction was formulated prior to considering that content.'
BELLS AND WHISTLES
The site offers consumers high-resolution videos, voice-overs, music and information databases.
Walter Schild, Genex's CEO, said features such as 3-D animated illustrations outdo the static images and words of less-capable media in showing product features.
'With broad-band, you can use a lot of the technology to show off the product,' he said. 'You can't describe the feeling of stopping on wet pavement with antilock brakes until you see the value of it.'
The site includes more than 200 screens, 30 videos and thousands of pages of information.
Susan Bratton, vice president of market development for @Home's parent company, [email protected], said @Home has about a 60 percent share of the 1.1 million U.S. cable-modem subscribers. The cost per thousand ad exposures generally comes out to $40 or more, which is comparable to other Net media, she said.
Acura has advertised on @Home previously, as have General Motors and Lexus, she said. Acura's cost for the current effort is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.
Acura wants to use rich media to bring consumers closer to a buying decision, rather than attract casual shoppers, Palmer said.
'It's not just necessarily high numbers that we're after,' said Palmer. 'It's qualified high numbers.'