"The breadth of this campaign is what sets it apart," said Kim
Adams House, Head of Jeep Advertising for Chrysler. "When
Activision launches one of their games, it's of epic proportion.
This is not run of the mill. You don't see this in automotive
marketing every day."
The campaign begins today with a 60-second spot from Global Hue,
Southfield, Mich., entitled "Any World." The commercial brings to
life a scene from the video game, an intense and action-packed
chase sequence in which the Jeep is the hero that intertwines
in-game footage that aligns with the live action.
Global Hue exec VP-Exec Creative Director Vida Cornelious
brought her team to Budapest, Hungary, to recreate visuals from the
game in the spot. "We went there to stay true to the core values of
the brand," Ms. Cornelious said. "One of the important things for
us was to reproduce the game exactly as it is depicted. That was
the best location to do that ."
If that seems extreme, well, so are the hard-core video gamers
who play titles such as the Call of Duty series. And if you think
most of them are teenagers who aren't even close to being able to
afford the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $36 ,495 for
the two-door Call of Duty special edition Wrangler, think again.
According to 2011 study done by the Entertainment Software
Association, 72% of American households play computer or video
games and the average age of those players is 37. The ESA says
computer and video gaming is a $16 billion industry in this
When Call of Duty: Black Ops, the most recent version of the
game, was released in November 2010 it sold 4.7 million copies in
the first 24 hours and 20 million copies worldwide in the next
eight months on store shelves.
But will gamers buy a tricked-out Wrangler with the markings
from one of their favorite games? "Well, a Jeep certainly isn't an
impulse purchase. But the extremely hardcore video gamers are a
curious bunch," said Brandon Sheffield, editor-in-chief of San
Francisco-based Game Developer magazine. "For me, personally, I
wouldn't want any video game stuff on my car. But some retailers
just mistakenly released (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3) by
accident and some people were able to buy it early, and those discs
are being resold on Ebay for $1,700. That's $1,700 just to play it
a few days earlier than anybody else. So, yeah, I could see some of
the video game fans buying one of these new Jeeps just for the
If it appears Jeep brand is taking a risk here, it can afford
to. Chrysler has thrown more money at the brand in the last year on
its media spending – $265.3 million in 2010, up 71% from 2009
according to Ad Age Data Center research – and it's paid off.
Sales of Jeep Wranglers were up 28% in the first 10 months of this
year compared to the first 10 months of 2010, according to
Automotive News DataCenter, and sales of all Jeep models are
up 44% compared to the same period last year. The company has spent
$185.3 million in measured media on Jeep through August of this
"There might be risk involved but I'm sure Chrysler calculated
the risk," said Ralph Paglia, automotive marketing expert from Tier
10 Marketing in Washington, D.C. "If you look at what's been going
on at Chrysler and look at what [chief marketing officer Olivier
Francois] has been doing with Fiat and the J-Lo commercial, and to
an extent with Dodge, they're willing to take risks. I think it's a
great buy-in. If could be a huge win for them."
"Look, the bottom line is , we don't even know what the upside
potential for this brand is yet," Jeep's Ms. House said. "We're on
a journey here, with a product line that has really been a
cornerstone of our success story."
Other elements of the campaign include a three-dimensional print
piece that uses a Mylar overlay that merges the "real world" and
the world of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." The print ads will
appear in targeted gaming and lifestyle print publications. Jeep's
outdoor push will utilize a new technology, backlit
"electroluminescent" billboards. Consumers will see a "Toughest
Vehicle in the World" version of the ad by day and a "Toughest
Vehicle in the World. Any World" version at night.
Social media and events are also on tap. People clicking 'Like'
on Jeep's Facebook page and completing an online entry form are
registered for a sweepstakes in which one person will win a 2012
Wrangler Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition. The marketer will also
host "Camp Tread" experiences at select GameStop locations in New
York and Chicago during their "Midnight Warfare" launch events.
Inside Camp Tread, field lights, ambient game soundtrack and
special effects will transform the stores into a military