DaimlerChrysler's Smart has become the first car manufacturer in the UK, and possibly the world, to use SMS responses in its TV advertising, allowing viewers to arrange test drives, request brochures or locate dealers by sending text messages from their mobile phones.

Following a successful trial in print media, Smart UK is using SMS response for its latest TV advertising campaign for the ForFour. Consumers text 'Join in' to an on-screen five-digit number to request a test drive. They then text their name, house number and postcode to receive details of their nearest dealer, and can request a brochure and a phone call to arrange the test drive. The data is validated by supplier TXT4 and sent to Smart's contact centre for action.

TXT 4 said new research indicates that SMS is consumers' preferred method of responding to TV advertising, as it takes seconds and does not interrupting viewing.

Some other car companies in the UK are using interactive digital TV advertising which invites viewers to respond by pressing a button on the remote control. They then enter their details using the remote control keypad but this process interrupts TV viewing until completed.