State fair contest sticks to Jeep brand concept

To support the launch of its 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Chrysler wanted to play off how the Jeep brand personifies the "go-anywhere, do-anything" lifestyle.

To support the launch of its 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Chrysler wanted to play off how the Jeep brand personifies the "go-anywhere, do-anything" lifestyle.

With the help of ClearBlue, that concept translated into consumers getting down and dirty in a mud pit at the State Fair of Texas in September. Fans of the brand waded through gallons of mud in hopes of winning a sparkling clean Wrangler.

Strategy

Chrysler and ClearBlue brought the phrase "stick-in-the-mud" to life by challenging 100 consumers at the fair to wade through 14,000 gallons of mud to find hidden sticks of various point values, with the person with the most points winning a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. "Jeep owners in general love to get their vehicle muddy," says Carrie McElwee, Daimler Chrysler senior manager of marketing and PR. "It just made sense to use something involving mud and the concept of people getting dirty to win a Jeep."

Tactics

To recruit participants, Jeep and ClearBlue partnered with a sweepstakes company to launch a nationwide call for entries that drove consumer traffic online to register. More than 100 consumers were randomly selected. The team also conducted a national consumer survey that asked questions related to the phrase "stick-in-the-mud." The findings were incorporated into the pitching process and added an element to national coverage.

Results

The contest Web site received more than 2,000 entries, and the campaign generated more than 30 million media impressions. "I definitely think that we got value out of the program," adds McElwee. "It raised awareness, and it was completely in line with the brand perception. That is why it worked so well."

Future

The team will continue to build buzz for the vehicle and would like to return to the fair in 2007.

PR team: Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) and ClearBlue (Chicago)

Campaign: Jeep Stick in the Mud

Duration: July to October 2006

Budget: $575,000

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