Pontiac debuts new SUV Torrent on CBS' 'Survivor'

MUMBAI: Following the success of Oprah's 19th Season Premier last year and Donald Trump’s boardroom in The Apprentice last spring, Pontiac once again joined hands with a major media partner – CBS’ Survivor – in a surprising fashion for the launch of its new Pontiac Torrent SUV.

"While many companies place their product in a show, this time we’ve sort of placed the show in our product," said Pontiac marketing director Mark-Hans Richer.



Six former Survivors from the CBS television show hit the “urban jungle” in Pontiac Torrents during the launch of Survivor Search in the City on 15 September on Survivor: Guatemala – The Maya Empire. The participating Survivor celebrities included many popular characters from top urban areas: “Boston Rob” Mariano in Boston (Survivor: Marquesas/Survivor: All Stars), Rupert Boneham in Chicago (Survivor: Pearl Islands/Survivor: All Stars), Jerri Manthey in Los Angeles (Survivor: The Australian Outback), Ethan Zohn in New York (Survivor: Africa), Gervase Peterson in Philadelphia (Survivor: Borneo) and Erin Collins in Texas (Survivor: Thailand).



Pontiac, along with marketing partner Leo Burnett Detroit and CBS, also launched the promotion, a fully integrated, viral effort incorporating the six former Survivors who will drive new Torrents as they go about their daily life over the coming weeks in their home cities and local regions.



Consumers will be asked to find one of them and snap a picture of them with their Torrent on their camera phone. They can immediately transmit the image for a chance to win five, fully-loaded, 2006 Pontiac Torrents, what Pontiac is calling “Torrents for your tribe.” Photos may also be submitted from digital cameras (via email) or by postal mail through 6 November.

"This promotion represents one of the most creative executions of a sponsor promotion we have ever had in association with the Survivor brand. . Survivor has one of the most passionate audiences on television, consistently ranking it in the top ten in viewership every week," said CBS marketing executive vice president Anne O’Grady.

GM research shows that the Survivor audience is 25 per cent more likely than other prime time shows to talk about the program. “Because we're working with the enhanced enthusiasm of the audience, this promotion becomes naturally viral,” said Richer.

In fact, fans who get pictures can spread them to friends who can also submit them. Further, the ex-Survivors themselves will keep daily blogs about their experiences and whereabouts with their Torrents which consumers can access at Photos will also likely spread at each Survivor’s website and fan websites.

Fifteen second television billboards on Survivor: Guatemala – The Maya Empire will drive consumers to the promotion during each week’s broadcast in addition to web advertising through portals like Yahoo! and AOL.

The Torrent is also the sole automotive product placed in Survivor: Guatemala – The Maya Empire. While it is an SUV, it is sleekly styled and designed with more agility, more for the urban jungle than an actual one.

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