Jeep Challenges Youth Market to Write Comic Promoting New Vehicle

It may not be able to stick to walls, leap over tall buildings or fly through the air, but car maker DaimlerChrysler is looking to make the new Jeep Patriot the star of its very own comic book, and is inviting the public to help write the script for the story.

The Jeep brand of DaimlerChrysler has partnered with Marvel Comics on a campaign created by advertising agency Organic, where potential comic book authors can submit their proposals as part of “The Patriot Factor” contest. Marvel artist Bing Cansino has drawn the first several pages of “The Patriot Factor,” which have been posted online at PatriotAdventure.com, and Jeep has challenged readers to create the rest of the story. The site is also connected to the Jeep.com Web site.

As the Jeep Patriot is intended for first time car buyers and a younger market, Organic came up with the Marvel comic book challenge to reach its target demographic, according to Chuck Sullivan, group director of engagement management for Organic.

“It’s a brand new product for a target market that would typically not go to Jeep.com. It’s younger and more tech savvy than one might find other places,” he said. “We’re looking at a group that is under 30, with an income of $40, 000 or less, and is typically male.”

The contest itself will be promoted through television ads, banner ads, and magazines, as well as on Marvel’s Web site and in its comic books. The story itself will not feature any well known Marvel characters like Spider-Man or the X-Men, but four friends without superpowers who then use their Jeep Liberty as they are menaced by shadowy agents of evil.

“We want to be careful that this is not a comic book story about a Jeep Patriot, but rather it’s a story that will evolve over time that includes the Patriot,” said Sullivan.

Organic and Jeep decided to utilize a consumer generated media-style contest after finding it was successful in reaching a younger demographic, said Sullivan. The Jeep brand has also been promoted through video games and social networks to reach a younger audience.

“It’s been our experience with other products that the growth of the consumer generated media has been exceptional. And the ability to engage the target prospects using consumer generated media as a vehicle has been successful for Jeep at this point,” he said.

The contest itself will run through March 30th, with the Marvel editorial board choosing the winning entries, which will then be drawn by Cansino. The winners will get credit as authors. The first 100,000 fans who register online will also receive a hard copy of the book.

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