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General Motors Taps Hotline Communications To Develop And Promote Pontiac Aztek Online Community

DETROIT, TORONTO - General Motors Corp. and Hotline Communications, a leading developer of Internet collaboration, communication, and community-building software, have announced a pilot program to create a Pontiac Aztek online community using Hotline's powerful peer-to-peer technology.

Pontiac-GMC is using Hotline's Private Label Server community-building application to demonstrate the capabilities of peer-to-peer technology as a marketing medium for the Aztek vehicle. Aztek owners can access this interactive community through Aztek Connect, a customer version of the Hotline Connect Software designed especially for Pontiac-GMC.

This pilot program, which was launched on July 25 on the Hotline network, will allow Aztek owners and interested buyers to share content and experiences related to the Aztek. The Aztek Connect software is available from the Aztek Web site, in the "Hot News" section. Aztek owners are invited to share videos and photos, chat in real-time, and participate in discussion forums.

Mark Hogan, GM group vice president and president of e-GM, the company's Internet business unit, said, "GM is always on the lookout for exciting new technologies that will help us connect to our customers. Hotline Connect provides us with a new way to develop an interactive Aztek community that allows Aztek owners to contribute their own content. Giving our customers a unique way to speak for themselves is a great way to promote a brand."

"Aztek owners are eclectic, forward-thinking, and passionate about their vehicles," said Jim Vurpillat, Aztek brand manager. "They already spend significant time on owner sites discussing their experiences, such as those from a recent Aztek owners road rally. Hotline's community application allows them to communicate more easily with each other and promote their unique Aztek ownership experiences by sharing pictures, videos, and other digital content."

"We are looking forward to showcasing the branding powers of our community-building technology using the Aztek brand," said Jack Kay, president and CEO of Hotline Communications. "It is encouraging to see companies with established brands embracing new Internet technologies, such as peer-to-peer software applications, to expand their brand's awareness and, ultimately, their customers' affinity with their brand."

The Aztek community is being promoted to Hotline's 3 million users through an integrated rich-media ad campaign. The community is also being promoted via a direct-mail campaign to Aztek owners, and is listed on Hotline's Featured Servers Tracker, a directory of Hotline-supported online communities.