Home / Auto News / News article: Chrysler Offering Gift Cards for Crowdsourced Ad Material - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Jun 19 2012, 3:32 PM

In an effort to generate pre-release hype for the Dodge Dart, Chrysler is offering gift cards to a limited number of people who snap pictures of the new compact as it heads to dealerships.

Chrysler cautions participants not to send anything in that was taken while driving, insisting that it doesn’t condone that sort of behavior. Instead it hopes for an army of “citizen journalists” to take amateur photo and video that will be sent to the company. Of the material received, 25 participants will be awarded a $50 gift card to spend on branded swag.

“We want you to be on the lookout for Dodge Dart cars as they leave Belvidere, Ill., and are trucked and trained across the U.S. and Canada to start arriving at dealerships,” Chrysler said. “If you spot a truck full of Dodge Dart cars on the roadways, get a glimpse of them on railway cars or even after they arrive at your neighborhood dealer, take a picture or video.”

“Crowdsourcing” is a growing trend that started with news outlets like CNN and its iReporters. Now, we’re seeing automakers letting the general public have a hand in creating commercials and ad campaigns. For example, the Ford Focus ST commercial we brought you earlier this month was another example of material shot by fans.

Sugarcoating the idea is sort of silly, but it’s a a stroke of genius: companies are finding ways to cut production budgets while making their material, coverage or whatever else more interesting.

In Chrysler’s case, participants upload what they capture to their Flickr account and add it to a special Chrysler group. The idea of a $50 gift card probably isn’t enough to send anyone out hunting, but if you’re lucky enough to see something interesting, it could mean a quick cash reward.

The Dart, which is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform, is meant to be a re-entry to the compact market for Chrysler. With a range of engine options that offer a choice between fuel economy and power, the brand is hoping for a warm reception with young buyers who will probably appreciate the idea of participatory advertising.

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