The automaker has signed a seven-figure deal that latches it to the year-end cover-story franchise, ensuring, at least for the next four weeks, nearly every Person of the Year mention will be accompanied by a Chrysler spot, banner, button or bumper.
A Chrysler plug will accompany virtually every mention of 'Time' magazine's Person of the Year. The automaker is preparing a broad ad effort involving print, TV, podcasts, broadband video, wireless polling and video on demand.
Click to see larger photo of print ad.
The deal was initiated by Time Inc. but includes a major CNN package. Chrysler will sponsor a CNN documentary on the Person of the Year the eve of the Dec. 19 issue date and in the weeks leading up to it interstitials about all of the candidates -- who this year include Steve Jobs, Bono, the Google Guys, Valerie Plame, Lance Armstrong and rumored front-runner Mother Nature. Chrysler is also sponsoring a host of new media options: podcasts on iTunes, broadband video, wireless polling and video on demand.
There’s also, of course, a good old flight of print ads -- including inside the front cover and back cover -- in the annual issue.
To be sure, sponsoring the Person of the Year platform doesn’t come without risks. After all, the title has been bestowed on such politically charged figures as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini -- not necessarily the folks advertisers want to be even remotely associated.
Chrysler won't know
Chrysler will not know who the Person of the Year is beforehand. “We’re OK with that,” said Julie Roehm, marketing communications director for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge at Chrysler Group. “The idea of the Person of the Year is still intact, and it’s not about whether we agree with that person but how it’s chosen and the impact on society.”
For CNN and Time Inc., the integrated elements of the deal are a way to keep money in the family when many marketers are moving it elsewhere.
Traditional media is responding to the demands. Greg D’Alba, chief operating officer of CNN’s ad sales and marketing, estimates 80% of CNN’s revenue is attached to TV-Web integration. “The future is exemplified by what we’re doing with Chrysler today.”