Buick Back With 'Wired' Pop-Up Tech-stravaganza


Buick is back as presenting sponsor of the seventh annual Wired pop-up store, and this time it's the biggest to date, at over 10,000 square feet. The store is full of Wired-type gadgets and high tech displays, including a Human Wind Tunnel, where people can test their drag coefficient, and post the results on Buick's Facebook page.

Open from Nov. 18 through Dec. 24. Buick, which is in its second year as sponsor, will have its 2012 LaCrosse, but the focus will also be on eAssist alternative powertrain technology.

The installation includes tablet computers around the LaCrosse that will play videos when people interact with them. The content is delivered with Aurasma, which uses visual cues to deliver content to mobile devices. Buick says it is the first automaker in North America to take advantage of the technology.



Buick has been going after younger buyers with such programs as a web video series featuring the pop band Hellogoodbye, a road tour of Napa vineyards focused on the Napa Valley Film Festival, and ride and drive events around the country.

Craig Bierley, director of Buick advertising and promotions, tells Marketing Daily that the company's median age has dropped significantly, though the real money number is conquest. "We are in the high 50's in average age, but putting that in perspective, the average new car buyer in the U.S. is around 66," he says. "It's kind of a non issue." What we are really encouraged by is the conquest rate: we are pulling over half of our business from non-GM customers."

Bierley says pop-up store will also pull in a lot more people than prior locations, and more of them will be drivers for the simple reason that this year's store is at tourism central, right at 42nd and Broadway in the ESPN Zone space. "It's much bigger, and the traffic counts will be a lot more," he says, adding that the big focus will be on the mild hybrid eAssist technology, and how a combination of technology factors give LaCrosse 36 mpg highway.

"One way we are bringing this to life is with the Aurasma technology on iPads that give consumers an interactive walk-around of vehicle features and benefits," he says. "And we built the human wind tunnel, which is fun, but also a visual demonstration of how we achieved 36 mpg."

Bierley, who says Buick will upload video footage of Thursday night's premier, says Buick worked with Conde Nast on the activation and footprint of the space, though not the actual location, which Bierley predicts will bring in 10 times what last year's venue drew. 



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