NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, Auburn Hills, Mich., breaks an integrated campaign for Jeep today with AOL Time Warner's America Online and Time Inc. units.
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AOL and Chrysler executives declined to specify the value of the promotion, which involves advertising in 15 Time Inc. magazine titles, including Time, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Southern Living, as well as on AOL Time Warner sites and Jeep.com.
America Online created an online hub that consumers can access via AOL.com, Netscape, CompuServe and AOL Time Warner interactive sites. It will feature online tips from Time Inc. magazines that highlights fun Jeep vacation destinations in the U.S. Consumers can use the hub to rent a Jeep vehicle at special rates through Chrysler Group rental partners Thrifty, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. and Dollar Rent A Car Systems and book vacations through AOL Travel partner Travelocity.
"The program marries the assets of Time Inc. and AOL in order to drive trial and, hopefully, raise purchase intent by a giveaway of $500 toward a Jeep rental or lease," said Robert Sherman, president of AOL Interactive Marketing, advertising sales. "We've been very successful in developing a relationship with Chrysler that keeps growing over time."
The program extends Chrysler Group's relationship with America Online. A recent "Celebrity You've Got Mail" promotion featured a contest that offered contestants a chance to win one of four 2002 Chrysler brand vehicles if they could correctly guess the identity of celebrity e-mail greeting voices.
Prior to that promotion, Chrysler participated in holiday programs with America Online, Time Inc. and Time Warner Cable networks.
"We were pleased with the results," said Jeff Bell, vice president and general manager for Jeep responsible for media planning for the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. On the "Mail" program, Mr. Bell said Chrysler saw decent results. "Twenty-three percent of all the people who contacted us by Web or 800-number were generated from the guess the celebrity [greeting] program," he said.
Both sides are evaluating how many of those phone and Web inquiries will lead to qualified purchases.
No rich media
While AOL is trying to ratchet up the use of rich media in advertising and promotions on its network, the Jeep program won't incorporate the ad format. "We believe in 'keep it simple, stupid,'" Mr. Bell said.
Mr. Bell said response rates on interactive programs have been better when Chrysler hasn't loaded up on rich media technologies such as Flash. "If you really want people to say 'vacation' [and] extended test drives, we don't want to do too much Flash. ... We want it to be click and go," he said.