Jeep’s Promotional Efforts Grow in Popularity

Relationship Marketing Events Such as ‘Camp Jeep’ Fuel Bozell
DETROIT–Bozell Worldwide’s DaimlerChrysler account is growing as the automaker’s relationship marketing programs, particularly its “Camp Jeep” and Jeep 101 promotions, increase in popularity.
About 5,000 people are expected to participate this week at a Jeep 101 course in Auburn Hills, Mich., one of 24 such events nationwide. Instructors guide participants through a controlled course, teaching the fundamentals of off-road driving. Later this summer, 7,500 people will journey to Virginia for the fifth annual Camp Jeep, said Lou Bitonti, Jeep division marketing manager.
Jeep 101 began as a five-market test in 1997 and grew to 20 markets in 1998, said Bruce Clayton, Bozell partner and manager of Jeep brand events. About 85,000 people are expected to complete the course as it travels nationwide this year.
Bozell’s Southfield, Mich., office has nine employees focusing exclusively on Jeep relationship marketing, Clayton said. That number could grow as Bozell takes its expertise to other portions of the account. The agency is also talking to other True North clients about what relationship marketing events might fit into their marketing plans, he said. Bozell also does corporate advertising for the automaker and brand work for Chrysler and Plymouth vehicles.
At Camp Jeep, to be held on the East Coast for the first time, Jeep owners from 48 states will gather for entertainment and activities such as kayaking. It is one of the largest events of its kind, and one of the only ones held annually. Saturn had a similar homecoming with its customers five years ago, and Volkswagen will sponsor a “Rockfest” for owners this summer.
In putting on the two events, Bozell coordinates the efforts of 40 suppliers, Bitonti said.