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Even before the remake of the "Pink Panther" comes at March, 9th to German cinemas internet users will be able to get a feel for the story and go on the hunt for the stolen diamond. From February 6 to March 17 2006 at smart will be offering players the opportunity to solve the case for themselves. Those who demonstrate the necessary skill in the online game will also have the chance to take part in a gripping real-life adventure: At the beginning of April ten finalists will travel to Paris together with a friend to track down the jewel in a smart fortwo. The smartest duo will be rewarded with a smart fortwo as first prize.

"People who are open to the values embodied by smart will also like the new Pink Panther film. The film combines creativity and charm with humour – just like smart", says Oliver Hoffmann, Head of Marketing Communications at smart. He continues "Our customers are at home on the internet, which is why this online event will appeal to them." In the current remake of the 1963 film classic the smart fortwo plays a leading role as the police car of the legendary Inspector Clouseau.

Internet users can become better acquainted with the secret star of the film and become involved in the plot themselves. In a lavishly produced online special, users will be able to enjoy a mix of photo realism and 3D-illustrations. After logging in, the user is "personally" greeted by Inspector Clouseau. The players spend approximately ten minutes moving through interactive indoor and outdoor scenes of the film gathering clues and tracks. If the diamond is found, Inspector Clouseau congratulates the player on successfully qualifying for the prize draw. With a bit of luck and the right score internet users can continue to follow the trail of the Pink Panther in real life - in an exciting rally through Paris.

As well as allowing visitors to take part in the game, the website also offers some appealing additional features such as information on the film or a screensaver. They will also be able to access technical data relating to the smart fortwo and, if interested, directly arrange a test drive..

smart's activities accompanying the product placement in the film "The Pink Panther" are part of the implementation of the new marketing strategy. Within the framework of "focussed marketing" (FoMa) smart is concentrating even more than before on the combination of advertising forms that enable customers and potential customers to be even more directly approached.

"The inexorable changes that are taking place in the media landscape with several thousand TV ads per day, for example, convinced us at the end of 2004 of the need to make major changes and to focus. This is the only way to cultivate and build up direct contact to customers or prospective customers" says Anders Sundt Jensen, member of the smart management board responsible for Marketing und Sales, explaining the main reason for the new strategic direction in marketing.

The aims of the focussed marketing approach developed from this are to avoid losses due to insufficiently selective advertising, to approach target groups in a focussed manner, achieve an integrated presentation throughout Europe right through to the Point of Sale and local activities and to further optimise the marketing budget.

Classic advertising will have a lower weighting in the marketing mix. In future the clear focus will be on BTL measures (below-the-line) – for example promotions, product placement or sponsorships. Apart from this, the new approach means stronger regional and local focus in the selection of measures, further professionalisation of the dealer organisation and increased promotion and integration of local event marketing activities. Bundling these measures will greatly improve the efficiency.

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