OnStar Revisited

A few days ago, I wrote an article about a new 2D-based advertising campaign that OnStar, the in-vehicle safety, security and communication service company, recently launched. It turns out that the advertisement I saw was only one of several that make up the campaign.

OnStar QR Code

Upon scanning the QR Codes in the additional advertisements which are displayed in this post, the reader is shown a one to two minute video about the service. Of the three advertisements, the only one that played on my emotions enough for me to consider a subscription to the service (I am not really in the market to purchase the service, I’m merely trying to make a point) was the “Always On” advertisement. In this video, the reader gets caught up in a conversation a man has with a friend, which details how the man drove off the side of a road in the middle of no where and, if it wasn’t for the OnStar service that he had, he would probably have never been found in time to be rescued. A powerful message, much like the others that OnStar airs on radio and television. The other two advertisements were more or less self-promotional and just service feature driven. (Boring.)

OnStar QR Code

As with my original OnStar campaign comments, why do these videos resolve to nothing. The reader has no place to go once each video ends. Why not link the video to a micro site that further explains the service and, perhaps, offer a subscription discount? Or, what about linking to a General Motors website where a prospective customer could learn more about GM automobiles? Or maybe offer safe driving tips. Or tips on what to do in an emergency.  Or display a chart comparing OnStar to AAA.

OnStar QR Code

In addition to offering a micro site with additional information, etc., OnStar might consider including buttons at the end of each video that enables readers to share or like the content. (Let’s be sociable.)

As seen in so many advertisements, 2D-based or non-2D-based, advertisers often squander the opportunity to move a prospect closer to a sale, increase engagement, enhance the brand experience or allow for positive word of mouth. Don’t work so hard to build a campaign only to stop trying on the one yard line. Furthermore, to ask a reader to take one, two or three minutes to scan a code and watch a video, or read or interact with whatever the code scan resolve might be, at the very least, an advertiser needs to make the experience (or interruption if you want to look at it that way) truly worth the reader’s valuable time.


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