AOL, Chrysler Launch Holiday Promotion

Media giant AOL Time Warner will be the exclusive advertising partner for Chrysler’s “Home for the Holidays” promotional program, an effort that seeks to tie in vehicle marketing with travel and safety information.

The agreement between New York-based AOL and the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler Group, a unit of DaimerChrysler, will result in ads appearing online and in print, promoting the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands, and highlighting a seven-year or 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty on all new vehicles purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.

The campaign’s centerpiece will be a special Web site designed by AOL’s America Online unit, which will contain vehicle information, driving directions from AOL-owned, Chrysler-branded holiday e-cards, and a special contest tied into America Online’s “You’ve Got Pictures” photo-sharing service.

Meanwhile, AOL Time Warner’s Time Inc. magazine unit will run ads in Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated and Time promoting Chrysler Group vehicles and featuring the site’s URL. Meanwhile, the media conglomerate’s Turner Broadcasting division will feature Chrysler Group as the sponsor of a movie marathon on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

In addition, the “Home for the Holidays” campaign will appear linked to viewer tips — such as holiday travel information — on Turner’s CNN and CNN Headline News.

Jeff Bell, vice president of marketing communications at Chrysler Group, said the campaign was prompted to take advantage of what might be an upswing in road traffic this year.

“Because of the very unique environment we live in, Americans are attuned to safety, security and a return to their roots as never before,” Bell said. “That translates into a desire by many people to travel by car this holiday season. Our ‘Home for the Holidays’ program is designed to give our customers peace of mind during their time on the road.”

It’s the first time that AOL Time Warner has done business with DaimlerChrysler, though not the first for its disparate media units, several of which had marketing and software agreements with the automotive giant prior to the AOL-Time Warner merger in early 2001.

For instance, America Online last year agreed to provide its Internet service to DaimlerChrysler employees, with subscription costs subsidized by the automaker. Time Inc. and Turner also had existing advertising relationships with Chrysler.

“We’re pleased to expand our long-standing relationship with Chrysler Group through this integrated campaign,” said Myer Berlow, AOL’s president of global marketing solutions. “By leveraging the combined strengths of our online, print and television brands, we’re able to inform consumers of this great value and also provide the kind of integrated marketing solution that Chrysler Group can’t find anywhere else.”

Added Bell, “AOL Time Warner provided us a quick, creative and highly integrated way to get our message out during what is a very important time for all Americans.”

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