The company's Chrysler/Plymouth unit will bundle a CD-ROM new car buyers' guide with Multimedia World in January.
Chrysler/Plymouth also is giving students a CD-ROM demonstration of its Plymouth Neon model during the Jeep/Eagle Collegiate Health and Fitness Tour, going to 50 campuses during the school year.
Chrysler is one of the first automakers to use CD-ROM in a consumer marketing program, building on a marketing tool that's already become common in the automotive industry, computer software.
Earlier this year, BMW of North America put out a CD-ROM press release to auto journalists to demonstrate its all-season traction system; after consumer requests, BMW distributed about 1,000 more.
"There are 30 million units out there that can play CD-ROM," said Jim Cherfoli, Chrysler/Plymouth merchandising manager. "This is the way the world is going."
Chrysler is one of the more active automakers in the interactive realm. It has used Interactive Network to test ad recall and will participate in Time Warner's Full Service Network test in Orlando.
With the CD-ROM, Chrysler will be adding video and sound to the usual product catalog. A user will be able to access product specifications and options information, view the model inside and out from different angles and even change the vehicle's color.
The Multimedia World disc will provide information on four Chrysler models-Concorde, LHS, Town & Country and the upcoming Cirrus-as well as two Plymouths, the Neon and Voyager.
The disc will be compatible with Macintosh and IBM computer formats, Mr. Cherfoli said, and will be bundled with all 120,000 subscription and newsstand copies of the magazine. The disc was developed by Shamrock Communications, Sausalito, Calif.
Chrysler will produce another 30,000 copies of the disc that will be offered free, along with traditional brochures, to prospects who call an 800-number seeking product information.
The college tour is officially sponsored by Jeep/Eagle, another Chrysler Corp. division, but Chrysler/Plymouth is participating by offering test drives of the youth-oriented Neon. The Neon CD-ROM demonstrations are being done in conjunction with IBM Corp.