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Solstice Promotion Trumps Oprah Giveaway

By Jim Mateja

WardsAuto.com, Apr 20 2005

Pontiac’s website traffic jumped 1,400% following the promotion on “The Apprentice,” and 1,000 certificates to be the first to buy a special edition of the car were gone in 41 minutes.

CHICAGO – Donald Trump was responsible for selling 724 more Pontiacs in 41 minutes than Oprah gave away in five minutes.

Pontiac away 276 G6 sedans Sept. 13 to the audience on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in a widely publicized marketing ploy designed to expose the Grand Am replacement to the public.

Many felt the stunt would result in record sales.

But the new-for-'05 G6 only was offered in sedan form with a V-6 engine and not in lower-cost coupe or 4-cyl. versions or the upscale retractable hardtop model at the time of the giveaway.

Solstice certificates snapped up online.
Sales started slowly, and Pontiac was criticized for bringing more attention to Oprah than to the G6. It has atoned.(See related story: Pontiac’s Oprah Giveaway, Hit or Miss?)

Coming up with a sales brochure for the upcoming '06 Pontiac Solstice 2-seat roadster that arrives in showrooms this summer was the object of the team project on Trump's "The Apprentice" TV show last Thursday.

Viewers were invited to visit a special website for information on the roadster that starts at $19,995. Once on the site, visitors were offered a certificate that could be taken to a Pontiac dealer the next day to order one of the first 1,000 roadsters built.

"It took only 41 minutes to sell those 1,000 cars," a Pontiac spokesman says.

"Visits to the website rose 1,400% in the first hour, a much higher spike than after the Oprah show, and by 2 p.m. EST Friday (when dealers could begin taking orders) we had 212,000 visitors to the website," he says.

The spokesman wouldn't say how much website visits spiked after the giveaway on the Oprah show, although at the time Pontiac said it had 250,000 unique visitors to the site the day of the show, up from its daily average of 30,000.

"Some people questioned the effect Oprah had on G6 sales, but there's no question the effect ‘The Apprentice’ had on Solstice sales," he says.

Of the 212,000 who visited the site, 20,000 signed up for a certificate to take to a dealer to order one of the first 1,000 Solstice models that will come with special badging to set them apart.

If any of the 1,000 change their minds, names off the waiting list will take their place, the spokesman says.

The 20,000 coincides with the number of Solstice roadsters Pontiac plans to build annually.

But Pontiac won't know for awhile how many of those who didn't get the first 1,000 cars will opt instead for one of the 4,000 to 5,000 that will be allotted dealers in the first four months the car goes on sale, the spokesman says.

Senior Member
6,548 Posts
Hope this isn't a hijack, didn't want to start a thread, this thread was close:

I saw this ad on yahootv.com:

Good stuff!

Premium Member
9,421 Posts
Yeah, the Trump add cost them money, but at least unlike the Oprah add they made money back by selling the first 1000. Plus all the other sales they've made already. I'm betting the first 4 month allotment and part of the 2nd 4 months is gone already.
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