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Buick Hosts "Quest for the Keys" Competition

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author photo by Jean Halliday September 2011

Buick will give away three new vehicles in November to players in the brand's Quest for the Keys program on Facebook.

The social media promotion at www.facebook.com/buick, moves to Austin, Texas Oct. 10, the last of seven cities where area participants must follow clues for a local, real-world scavenger hunt to try to find one of six keys. Each of the six winners gets $2,000 and the chance to win a new Buick of their choice in a random drawing.

Americans that don't live in or near Austin can still play at home in an online trivia game to try to win one of seven other keys.

A total of 50 keys will be awarded; one set was handed out early this year when the promotion started with the Facebook unveiling of Buick's Verano. That new compact car will start arriving in dealerships late this year.

Buick's Craig Bierley, advertising and promotions director, told AutoTrader.com the game is part of his strategy to build the brand's online fan base, maintain communications with fans and extend other programs from the physical world to the virtual landscape. "We are all about expanding the audience for this brand."

He's pleased with the response to the Quest, which he said is in line with projections. Bierley declined to reveal specifics, saying only "a very large number" of people are playing the game. "Buick is one of the fastest-growing auto brands on Facebook."

Over the past year, Buick's Facebook fan base, measured by "likes," has grown from 20,000 to nearly 122,000, George Jones, social media manager at the brand, told AutoTrader.com. "We're averaging 10,000 new fans per month."

Part of that growth is related to Buick's partnership with the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports to highlight the accomplishments of former student athletes who are now giving back to society. Buick ran videos online and on TV in March during Final Four broadcasts about these athletes in a series called Human Highlight Reel.

Jones said the Human Highlight's program made Buick the most discussed brand among NCAA sponsors in the social media space during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament earlier this year.

As part of its multi-year program with the NCAA, Buick kicked off the college football season with new Human Highlight videos that can also be seen on Buick's Facebook page and NCAA.com/Buick.

Meantime, Atlanta-area resident Susan Cody Mares is anxiously awaiting Buick's November drawing. She's one of the game's $2,000 and key winners in Atlanta. She told AutoTrader.com she loves Buick, but doesn't own one now and is "hoping to be one of the lucky ones" that gets a new Buick. She enjoyed playing the game and is hoping Buick does another one soon after the Quest ends.

With a fresh stable of new models, Buick has successfully attracted new buyers. More than 40 percent of Buick buyers this year are coming from non-GM models, with more than half trading in import models, Bierley said. That's impressive considering just a few years ago Buick only managed to woo 25 percent of non-GM owners.

Earlier this month, Buick announced that its new US vehicle sales in August marked the 23rd straight month of retail sales gains - 19 percent higher than August 2010 - and significant gains in markets such as Miami, San Francisco and Houston. Buick sold a total of nearly 126,500 new vehicles in the first nine months of the year, a 25 percent jump from the same year-ago period.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buick Hosts "Quest for the Keys" Competition - Autotrader