CHICAGO: Hoping to gain positive publicity from the growing reputation of its Hemi engine, the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler is launching a contest that invites people to design things powered by Hemi eight-cylinder engines.
Chrysler announced the "What Can You Hemi?" contest during media days at the Chicago Auto Show February 9.
A new website, www.whatcanyouhemi.com, has been created to tell consumers about the contest. A release was also distributed to media not able to attend the show, said Jason Vines, VP of communications at Chrysler.
Roughly 45% of Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles sold are bought with Hemi engines. The company wanted a PR effort that built on the Hemi's reputation while also enhancing its three vehicle nameplates, said Rick Deneau, director of product and brand PR for Chrysler.
"We want to keep up with the popularity of Hemi," Deneau said.
Contestants must submit a 300-word essay on their entry plus a sketch. Chrysler designers, engineers, and marketing people will review the entries and pick five finalists.
The automaker plans to build the creations of those five and then select a winner in June. The winner receives a Hemi-powered Chrysler of his or her choice.
The top five entries should present Chrysler multiple opportunities to garner coverage on morning shows and other media outlets, Deneau noted. Local coverage in finalists' home markets also is likely.