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Mazda Using QR Codes on 2012 Mazda6 in Innovative Marketing Campaign

Mazda has launched an innovative marketing campaign using QR codes to sell the 2012 Mazda6 through an affiliation with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which is the first rental car company to launch this kind of program.

The campaign is part of what Enterprise refers to as its "OnRamp" program that will eventually lead to QR codes in one million rental cars (on its busiest day in 2011 Enterprise rented one million cars). It's a brilliant way for a company like Mazda to sell the 2012 Mazda6 because renters are actually living with the car while their cars are at the shop being repaired after an accident.

Scanning the QR code with a smartphone launches a mobile-optimized site where car rental customers can learn more about the vehicles they are renting, find a local dealer if they are interested in purchasing a similar car to the one they are driving, and more.

The QR codes are placed on key tags as well as on the driver side window of all vehicles, making vehicle information accessible to more than just the rental vehicle occupants. That's a smart move because it allows people walking by the car to scan in the information if they are interested. Enterprise is the first car rental company to create a comprehensive QR code-based renter engagement campaign.

“Placing QR codes in our rental fleet vehicles is an innovative way to connect with drivers during the millions of test drives taking place in Enterprise’s rental vehicles monthly,” said Susan Lombardo, vice president of vehicle acquisition for Enterprise Holdings. “OnRamp exposes the thousands of renters who are likely looking for a new vehicle to a new experience that extends beyond the rental transaction and puts a spotlight on vehicles from our manufacturing partners like Mazda.”

“The ability to engage directly with drivers while they are in the midst of their rental experience is extremely valuable,” said Ron Stettner, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations, Mazda North American Operations. “The Enterprise OnRamp program gives current and potential new customers the opportunity to experience the Mazda6’s dynamic styling, meticulous engineering, reassuring safety and advanced technology features.”

This is not the first time manufacturers are using rental car companies to help move metal. Back in 1987, before it was available to the public, Chevrolet introduced the Corsica and Beretta models through Avis rental fleets. The thinking was to build up consumer interest. It also had the benefit of allowing GM to work out kinks in the cars before they went into mass production.

Eventually the OnRamp QR program will expand to Enterprise's sister rental car companies National and Alamo. Enterpise Holdings, the parent company of all three rent-a-car firms, says it has the largest rental car fleet in North America.