Chrysler May Use Film Contest to Promote Launch

DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group is considering using the entries of a film contest as a key part of the launch advertising for its Chrysler Crossfire early next year, sources said.

The Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival provides fledgling filmmakers the opportunity to compete for a $1 million feature film production and distribution deal. Whileall the short entries will feature either the Crossfire or a PT Cruiser as an integral part of the film, the ads will not necessarily be culled from the winning submission, sources said.

Chrysler’s national creative agency, PentaMark Worldwide, Troy, Mich, is facilitating Chrysler’s partnership with other companies sponsoring the festival, Universal Pictures and entertainment com pany Hypnotic. This is the second year of the festival, but the first with Chry sler sponsorship. It was un known how deeply PentaMark would be involved in the creation of the ads.

In announcing the program earlier this year, Jeff Bell, Chrysler Group executive vice president for marketing, said the company’s foray into films breaks from those undertaken by other automakers—most notably BMW of North America’s—by offering more points of connection to consumers.

For example, consumers have been involved in choosing the winners through Chrysler’s Web site, The competition has tie-ins with the Sundance, Cannes and Toronto international film festivals, as well as with other regional festivals. The competition is also being promoted on college campuses.

Last week, 10 semifinalists were tapped to compete in the Extreme Filmmaking stage of the competition. During this phase, which will take place during the Cannes Film Festival in May, the semifinalists must write, cast, shoot, edit and premiere a five-minute short film during a 10-day period.