Dodge Melt-Off effort gets warm reception for Nitro

As hot temperatures exploded across the country this summer, the Chrysler Group was looking for a way to attract attention from media and potential buyers for its new 2007 Dodge Nitro, set to hit dealerships in the fall.

As hot temperatures exploded across the country this summer, the Chrysler Group was looking for a way to attract attention from media and potential buyers for its new 2007 Dodge Nitro, set to hit dealerships in the fall.

The Chrysler Group turned to ClearBlue Communications to help create an event that would tie together the "hotness" of the new Nitro and beating the summer heat.

Strategy

The PR team used the hook of the last day of summer and the timing of the Nitro hitting the showroom to attract national media attention and consumer participation to Chicago. "We were looking for a fun way to showcase the hottest SUV hitting the market," says Carrie McElwee, DaimlerChrysler senior manager of marketing/PR programs. "We thought saying goodbye to summer would be a great way."
 
Tactics

Dodge and ClearBlue invited Chicago "hot shots" to compete for a new Nitro by attempting to free the "ICE-UV" trapped inside a 30,000-pound block of ice using body heat, hand-held heaters, backpack water sprayers, and pressure washer sprayers. To recruit participants, Dodge and ClearBlue partnered with a third-party sweepstakes company. Teams had to submit essays explaining why they "melt at the thought of winning a new Nitro" and why they consider themselves hot shots. Two teams were selected. Media materials and creative mailings were distributed to invite key media outlets to the live event.

Results

The sweepstakes received 26,000 entries. The event generated 12.2 million media impressions and introduced the vehicle to one of its biggest target demographics: 30-year-old urban men. Dodge has seen increased traffic to the brand Web site since the event.

Future

The focus is on continuing to spread awareness and assessing key messages that the coverage showcased.

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

Campaign: Dodge Nitro Hot Shots Melt-Off

Duration: July to October 2006

Budget: $645,000

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