In past years, Jeep marketers devoted considerable amounts of time to getting the Jeep name and virtual Jeep vehicles in digital games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Now, the Chrysler division is going a step further: not only do Jeep Wranglers figure in the story line of the forthcoming Black Water-esque "Call of Duty: Black Ops" game, Jeep is actually creating a limited-edition vehicle based on the Jeep that appears in it.
The game, by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Publishing, Inc., is designed to be played on Xbox 360, PlayStation3, Nintendo Wii and Windows PC.
In conjunction with the release of the game on Nov. 9, Jeep will produce a limited-edition 2011 Jeep Wrangler called "Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition." That kind of 3D realization of a 2D Jeep is a first for the company, but a spokesperson for Jeep says another first is the fact that the division will support the game and the limited edition with advertising.
Said Brad Jakeman, CMO of Activision, in a statement: "This is a dynamic and fully integrated partnership that brings together two iconic brands across a full array of consumer touchpoints." The Jeep spokesperson says the company is not ready to talk about what those touchpoints will be, but she says it will go beyond advertising.
The Jeep Wrangler Black Ops Edition comes in black. It has "Call of Duty: Black Ops" graphics on the roof and front quarter panels, per Jeep, and also features taillamp guards and a fuel-filler door from Mopar inspired by the virtual car. Wrangler is Jeep's go-to vehicle for limited editions around a theme.
There has probably been only one limited-edition Wrangler whose styling was directly tied to an entertainment property. That would be the 2003 Wrangler Rubicon Tomb Raider model, released with "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life." The company made about 1,000 of the vehicles.
Last year, the company launched Mountain and Islander versions of Wrangler, supporting the latter with a national "Jeep Wrangler Islander Tiki Hunt" contest, a social media campaign where Jeep hid three icons somewhere in the U.S. and gave people clues on social media sites like Facebook.