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Brilliant Or Insanely Stupid? Dodge's Crowd-sourced Advertising Plan

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On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 11:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Brilliant Or Insanely Stupid? Dodge's Crowd-sourced Advertising Plan

Here's an idea that couldn't possibly go wrong: Launch a guerilla marketing campaign that encourages average people (many of whom will be in cars) to become auto paparazzi. That's what Chrysler has done in its latest ad campaign for the Dodge Dart.

The 2013 Dodge Dart will be making its way out to dealers beginning this month. To help pump up some excitement around the model, Chrysler is encouraging folks to "spot the 2013 Dart." The "Darting Across the Country" campaign seeks to create an army of citizen journalists that snap photos of trucks stacked with new Darts. Of course, it can't actually pay thousands of people for their journalistic efforts, but it will select 25 for a $50 gift certificate for Dodge clothing and gear.

"Starting July 7 through July 28, we want you to be on the lookout for Dodge Dart cars as they leave Belvidere, Ill., and are trucked and trained across the U.S. and Canada to start arriving at dealerships. If you spot a truck full of Dodge Dart cars on the roadways, get a glimpse of them on railway cars or even after they arrive at your neighborhood dealer, take a picture or video," Chrysler explains on its blog post.

Chrysler plans to set up a Flickr group, so people can upload their pictures and video to Flickr and add them to the group. Chrysler will launch the group on July 6, but those that live in select market can get a head start via special drive-away events that begin on June 28. It will release the official rules for the campaign in the coming weeks.

Chrysler warns participants against distracted driving and says that it will disqualify anyone that shoots a photo or video while driving. But, come on, people are stubborn and not always very bright. Tell them not to do something, and they probably will.

And where exactly does Chrysler imagine people seeing truckloads of Darts? It won't be in their sleepy, residential neighborhood from the comfort of their porch chairs. It will more likely be on major highways, where they should be focused on the road and not lining up a photo for a stupid free advertising gimmick.

It's all win for Chrysler: The campaign gives it a bunch of free advertising and manufactured excitement for the Dart, and even the giveaways are just more free advertising by way of Dodge gear. Let's just hope that it doesn't result in any accidents or safety problems.



dwalter | 5:25PM (Fri, Jun 22, 2012)

yeah, the chance to win a t-shirt and cap with a Dodge logo isn't really worth the trouble

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