For the second time in as many months, the Jeep(R) brand has created a cutting-edge Internet experience designed to provide consumers an online immersion into the features and capabilities of the all-new 2007 Jeep Patriot compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV).
“Wolf” TV Spot
In February the Jeep brand and Marvel Comics unveiled “The Patriot Factor,” an online adventure comic book whose story line is being provided by consumers at www.patriotadventure.com.
Today, as part of the nationwide marketing launch for the Jeep Patriot, the brand introduced “The Way Beyond Trail,” an online interactive film. Consumers can join three characters who drive a Jeep Patriot while searching for a buried treasure. Consumers directly impact the evolution of the plot through their viewing choices, making “The Way Beyond Trail” a unique and truly interactive experience.
Product features of the Jeep Patriot are integral to the story line. In one scene, for example, the lead female character invites a group of people to a tailgate party by cranking up the music on the Patriot’s two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate.
“‘The Way Beyond Trail’ and ‘The Patriot Factor’ combine the timeless magic of story-telling with the power and reach of the Internet,” Jay Kuhnie, Director – Jeep Communications, said. “Both applications allow us to engage prospective customers of the Jeep Patriot in an environment that is interactive and entertaining, which resonates well with them.”
“The Way Beyond Trail,” which goes live on March 15 at www.patriotadventure.com, is a unique element of the marketing campaign for the 2007 Jeep Patriot. The campaign also includes two new 30-second TV spots, print ads, online advertising, a Hispanic campaign, product integration, events, direct mail, billboards and other out-of-home elements.
Overall, the theme of the Jeep Patriot marketing campaign, “choose your adventure,” is reinforced within the major elements of the campaign. For example, “The Way Beyond Trail” has 44 scenes (ranging from 15-30 seconds in length) and participants choose their path through the adventure.
Even the print ads allow readers to choose how they will interact with them.
Ultimately, the campaign theme takes its cue from the 2007 Jeep Patriot. That’s because the all-new vehicle delivers the fun, freedom, utility and best-in-class Jeep 4×4 capability that allows anyone to “choose your adventure.”
“The Jeep Patriot is targeted at young, active men and women who always wanted a Jeep but couldn’t afford one,” John Plecha, Director – Jeep Marketing and Global Communications, said. “Now, these consumers can choose their adventure in a Jeep Patriot because it delivers the Jeep experience at an affordable starting price – $14,985.”
Among the key elements of the campaign are:
From now until April 1, Jeep Patriot advertising will be prominent wherever there’s news about March Madness, the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship. For example, sports-themed banners about the Jeep Patriot will appear on virtually every Web site devoted to sports, including ESPN.com, SportingNews.com, SportsIllustrated.com, as well as the home pages of AOL and Yahoo!, among others. The two TV spots will get frequent airing on TV sports programming such as CBS Sports, College Sports TV, Fox Sports and College Hoops Network. Print ads already have appeared in USA Today and will continue during March Madness.
The Way Beyond Trail
The main characters are Gary, Srini and Jodi. (The same trio appears in the TV commercials for the 2007 Jeep Patriot.) Each online participant becomes the fourth member of the group of friends on a backwoods camping trip. The story starts around a campfire when Gary reveals an old family treasure map handed down from his uncle. The three friends, plus the viewer, decide they’ll be the ones to find it.
It is possible to complete the adventure without viewing all 44 scenes. Part of the challenge and fun is that some scenes are dead ends. However, players can simply go back and make a different choice to keep the story going. There is only one correct path that leads participants to the ending scene of the interactive film.
Participants can customize their experience by uploading photos and personal information that will reappear as embedded content within the film.
There is also a viral component. Participants have the option to provide an Emergency Contact person (name and e-mail address) in the event they get “lost.” On the first instance of encountering a dead end, an e-mail is automatically sent to their Emergency Contact, inviting them to try their own luck on “The Way Beyond Trail.”
TV Spot Descriptions
“Wolf” — At a riverside campsite, Gary and Srini pull a prank on Jodi by taking her canoe from the roof of her 2007 Jeep Patriot. As they head to the river to make their escape, Jodi can’t awaken her male partner. So she fires up the Jeep Patriot and pursues the pranksters on a path that goes parallel to the river. After driving through rugged terrain which the Jeep Patriot handles effortlessly, Jodi stops ahead of the fleeing canoe. On the opposite bank of the river she spots a wolf on a rock. She takes her forefinger and thumb and puts them in front of her face. She picks up the wolf with her fingers and drops it into the canoe. Terrified, Gary and Srini jump into the river and escape.
“Wake Up” — The interior features of the Jeep Patriot are highlighted as two campers load their gear into the rear of the vehicle. A third camper, however, is asleep in his tent. Nothing rouses him: not his friends raising the volume of the Patriot’s MP3 player, or pointing the flip-down speakers directly at the tent and blasting music. Finally, one of the campers takes his forefinger and thumb and puts them in front of his eye and picks up the guy’s tent. He lifts it over the water and dumps his friend into the lake.
“Wolf” will first air on March 15 during the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. “Wake Up” debuts March 20. Both will run on sports, music, entertainment and news programming, on late-night shows, and on networks such as Fox, ABC, NBC, E!, MTV and FX.
“Animales” is the title of the TV campaign targeted at Hispanics. There are two Spanish-language 30-second TV spots scheduled to start airing in April on Univision, Telefutura, Galavision, ESPN Deportes, GolTV, LatiNation and Mun2.
“Mosquito” — A chameleon is interrupted by his friend the mosquito moments before he prepares for lunch. The mosquito explains how he noticed a new animal — the Jeep Patriot — in the forest. Intrigued, the chameleon follows and tries to make it his next meal. As the Jeep Patriot drives through the forest, showcasing the capability of its Freedom Drive II(TM) Off-road Package, the mosquito follows its every move. Just as mosquito begins his final approach the Patriot kicks up mud in his face and the mosquito flies blindly into a tree head first.
“Weasel” — An amorous weasel wanders through the forest and stumbles upon a new animal — the Jeep Patriot — which seems to be singing a beautiful song. The Weasel eagerly approaches the Patriot, admiring its classic angles and modern features, such as the rear-liftgate speakers which projects the beautiful song throughout the forest. The Weasel is overcome with emotion and falls in love with the Jeep Patriot.
“Family Tree” is a print ad in English and Spanish that will appear in such Hispanic publications as Billboard Latino, Futbol Mundial, Latino U, Urban Latino, Fox Sports en Espanol, ESPN Deportes, among others.
There are two versions of an ad called “Connect the Dots.” Each has a photo of the Jeep Patriot in a field of dots that are assigned to numbers. One set of numbers and dots is red, the other is blue. Readers can choose to connect the red or blue dots. Each yields a different image.
The other print execution is a full-page spread with a sticker insert. There are two versions of this ad. One spread shows a forest scene. It is divided by an insert that has stickers on both sides. The stickers are removable pictures of the Jeep Patriot, plus people, clothing and gear that would be found in a forest. Readers can remove the stickers and arrange them any way they want on the forest page. The possibilities for this version of “choose your adventure” are limitless. The second version of this ad uses a beach scene, with related stickers that also can be placed wherever the reader likes.
A sampling of the print placements includes sports publications (Sports Illustrated; ESPN, the annual March Madness Preview Section of USA Today), music (Rolling Stone, and Spin,), men’s lifestyle (Maxim, Details, GQ, Men’s Health,) outdoor/adventure (Surfer, Four Wheeler, Runner’s World) and women’s lifestyle (Jane, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan).
With the introduction of the Jeep Patriot, the Jeep brand has expanded to seven models in the 2007 model year, the most available to retail consumers at one time in the brand’s 66-year history.
At the start of 2004, the brand’s trio of tough, capable, rugged SUVs included the venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty (Cherokee outside North America) and the icon of the brand, the Jeep Wrangler. In 2005, the Jeep Commander was introduced. In 2006, the redesigned Jeep Wrangler was unveiled. Also debuting in calendar year 2006 were three more all-new Jeep vehicles: Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass and the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.