Chevrolet, which last year used the show to tout its diminutive Spark car, is running a promotional competition that dangles one of the four thematic cars via use of the new entry passes to the event with an embedded chip.
The automaker has a touchscreen in front of each of the cars, where attendees can apply their badge and be entered for a chance at one of the cars. William Fleck, regional marketing manager for GM, says the event will help draw 120,000 people to the booth to see the cars and try their hands at getting one. "We will choose 100 to 200 semifinalists, and on Sunday choose four finalists." The final four each try their cards. One has the lucky chip. "We are really trying to build some drama around it this year."
And for the first time, the artists and their publishers are doing synergistic work on their own, taking the vehicles to retailers that sell their work, which promotes their comics and also builds awareness for the sonic, says Fleck.
He also points out that the automaker is extending its play to another product integration with a feature film, à la its integration in the "Transformers" movies, with its yellow Camaro, Bumblebee, which becomes a good-guy Transformer. He says Corvette will be in the forthcoming — and second — "Captain America" film, and Camaro will reprise its role in the fourth installment of "Transformers" next year.
Chevrolet has another display at Comic-Con that shows off a Hot Wheels-inspired Camaro, the new Impala and a tricked-out Corvette. And, says Fleck, the blue arch that fronts the display is meant to reflect the automaker's new dealership image program that includes a blue arch in front of stores.
The display also has several screens with an interface for the badge microchip. In this case it allows people to choose and customize a vehicle and opt in to receive information from the automaker. "It's a CRM program, where we can contact them on an ongoing basis.” he says the first message to opt-ins is an intro to the brand. The second compares Chevrolet to the competition, and the third explains offers, says Fleck. "We don't kill them with emails. We do monitor our outbound email activity and everything has to go through our CRM team." He says the company might send out an email once every two or three months.
"A big part of why we are here is to connect with younger consumers, but also to stay connected with them and keep them informed," he says. "They may not be car buyers today but eventually, they will be."