Dodge Gets Social to Promote New Journey Crossover

Following in the footsteps of Ford Motor Company’s wildly successful “Fiesta Movement” campaign, Chrysler’s Dodge division is turning to social media to create buzz about its 2012 Journey crossover model.  Unlike Ford, which relied solely on social media to hype the U.S. re-launch of its Fiesta small car, Dodge also plans to invest heavily in traditional media.

The TV and online media ad campaign allows consumers to participate in a nation-wide “treasure hunt” for three Journeys which Dodge has “hidden” at various locations around the country. Consumers who find the vehicles will be able to keep them.

The campaign, which is the brainchild of Dodge’s Portland, Oregon-based ad agency, Wieden+Kennedy, positions the 2012 Journey as the “Search Engine for the Real World.”

The television ads feature voice-over by actor Michael C. Hall, encouraging viewers to join the hunt:  “People don’t make a list of the Web sites they wanna see before they die. They don’t fill photo albums with pictures from an online search. Like being there is not like being there. It’s OK. The Internet will be just fine without you. That’s why we built the first search engine for the real world — the Dodge Journey. And then we left three somewhere out there. If you can find one, you can have one. You won’t find any of them online, but it might help you figure out where they might be.”

Viewers are instructed to visit for clues. Since being created in September 2005, the channel has received 288,519 views and 7,749,273 upload views, and has gained 5,844 subscribers.

In addition to the Dodge Journey, Chrysler plans ad blitzes for the Dodge Grand Caravan, Ram pickup, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town and Country and Chrysler 200 and 300 this fall.

With a base sticker price of $22,245, Dodge is promoting the Journey as “the most affordable mid-size crossover in America.”  The 2011 Journey Express, with Chrysler’s 2.4 World engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, gets an EPA estimated 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.  The Mainstreet Crew and Mainstreet Crew AWD models get 17 mpg city / 25 mpg highway and 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway respectively.

Journey sales are reportedly up six percent through last month to 36,304 units.

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