Chrysler, TiVo Cut Showcase Deal

One of the Big Three automakers will roll out a multimedia package on TiVo next month as part of its advertising campaign for a new German-American sports coupe.

If not the largest part of the television, print and Web spend for the 2004 Chrysler Crossfire, it's one of the automaker's most innovative types of targeting for the new model. Bonita Stewart, director of marketing communications for Chrysler, said the company had been searching for ways to connect to two targets: drivers aged 35-50 and people with household incomes of more than $100,000 a year. Both targets are highly engaged on the Internet. More than 93% use the Web. Chrysler and its lead agency, BBDO Detroit, looked for ways to reach them via new media. They found TiVo had attractive levels of both audiences and were intrigued by what the DVR service could provide in an advertising package and in measurement capabilities.

Chrysler is also drawn by TiVo's ability to measure interest in the advertising package. "The metrics will give us predictive intelligence for the further marketing of the product," Stewart said.



The sports coupe is being marketed with six words befitting parent company DaimlerChrysler's international flavor: "Dreamed in America. Crafted in Germany." The Chrysler Crossfire is built in Germany; 9,000 models are being made for sale this year. There are print, television and Internet components of the campaign.

The TiVo campaign will be available as an opt-in multimedia package to the service's more than 700,000 subscribers July 8-22. The campaign, which TiVo calls Showcases, features video clips of the car's appearance in short films commissioned by Chrysler and a preview of a half-hour SpeedVision show that features the sports car. It also provides TiVo owners the opportunity to record the SpeedVision show when it airs and to download any or all of the seven short-film finalists in Chrysler's Million Dollar Film Festival. TiVo owners can also request a CD that includes detailed information on the car, including a 360-degree view of the car using rich media.

Stewart said the Chrysler campaign is specific to TiVo. "I think it fits well with the TiVo model," she said of the campaign. "We looked at the TiVo model very closely to have an understanding what the TiVo users would opt-in for."

A print campaign began June 12 in USA Today and began running in other national campaigns soon after. The Chrysler Crossfire CD-ROM will run with a four-page input in four, as-yet-unnamed magazines. The campaign will go to broadcast and cable television in its second phase later in the fall.

"They're using almost all our capabilities. They're going to have a really robust showcase," said Kimber Sterling, director of advertising and research sales at TiVo. "It's an example of us taking it one step close to the ROI and measurable campaigns."

TiVo has been focusing on building subscribers and generating cash flow and has only occasionally sold advertising on the service in the form of showcases. Company officials have said that it's still a small part of the revenue stream but one that it expects will grow significantly in the future. TiVo and 20th Century Fox have signed a deal to highlight five films throughout 2003 - the first being the Jennifer Garner-Ben Affleck flick Daredevil in February - and Showcases have been used for several films like Mr. Deeds and the third Austin Powers film and a Sheryl Crow CD. Most recently a deal with Universal has featured Showcases on The Hulk and Bruce Almighty. Other car companies running showcases have included Acura and Porche.

An analyst said that TiVo had more burning issues to deal with in recent years as the company struggles for market share.

"Financials and subscribers are what matter most to [new TiVo President] Marty Yudkovitz at this time," said Sean Badding, an analyst with The Carmel Group in Monterey, Calif. But he said that deals like Chrysler's is an added bonus.

"It's helping to expand the TiVo brand and helping to build upon the advertising market, and so eventually be able to use advertising as a main source of revenues for TiVo. Today that's not the case ... it's not such a critical application to them right now," Badding said. Sterling said that this was the first year in the companies' six-year history that advertising has really been the focus and the effort has been paying off with bluechip advertisers like Chrysler.

He said Chrysler's interest in the metrics is something that is drawing companies toward TiVo.

"When Madison Avenue is ready to come to TiVo, they will be able to utilize many different types of software databases for companies who will be able to find out how is watching the advertisements and how successful that take rate is," Badding said.

Next story loading loading..