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Buick creates Celebrity Apprentice second-screen experience to reach new customers

Buick is enlisting mobile marketing to create a second-screen experience for its new Verona brand, enabling The Celebrity Apprentice viewers to access exclusive content and enter a sweepstakes.

The new Verano luxury sedan from Buick will be featured in the current season for NBC?s The Celebrity Apprentice, which makes its debut on March 11, as two teams compete to come up with the best consumer launch event for the vehicle. Viewers at home will be able to co-view the episode via the new Celebrity Apprentice mobile application, which uses sound activation technology to hear the television and guide viewers along in real-time with the show.

?We partnered with Celebrity Apprentice as a way to help launch the Verano,? said Nick Richards, communications manager for Buick, General Motors, Detroit, MI.

?The app gives us a way to engage the viewers,? he said. ?Celebrity Apprentice has a pretty strong following and a pretty engaged audience.

?Through the app, we are able to keep the vehicle in front of viewers and give them unique content that they would not get during the TV show.?

Free content
This is the first effort from General Motors to engage TV viewers during commercial breaks and throughout a specific program via a second-screen experience.

Users will be able to view exclusive test drives via the app that they can store in their library.

The app will also feature a series of polls asking users what they think should happen with some of the contestants.

Additionally, users will be able to access in-depth information about the Verano, games and other content via the app. App users will be able to download a free song from band Neon Tree, which is featured in one of the two new commercials for the Verano that will debut during The Celebrity Apprentice.

By downloading the app, users are able to enter a sweepstakes to win a 2012 Verano along with two tickets to the live finale of Celebrity Apprentice in New York City.

The Celebrity Apprentice mobile app was launched last month. The latest version for tablets featuring the Buick content went live on March 1 and one for smartphones goes live on March 8.

The app is available to download from the Apple and Android stores.

Reaching new customers
There is also a social media tie-in to the effort via Twitter.

Rather than targeting a specific demographic via the mobile marketing strategy, Buick hopes the campaign will help drive new customers into the showroom that have not typically purchased from GM in the past.

?The Celebrity Apprentice tie-ins, both social and mobile, give us the opportunity to put the brand in front of new consumers,? Mr. Richards said.

?We measure our success in how many new customers we are bringing into the showrooms,? he said.

?What we are looking for is to cause people rethink what they think about the Buick brand. By putting the Verona in places where you would not typically see Buick is one of the ways we can force that reappraisal and get people to think differently about the brand.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York/>