Clambakes, jazz, guided tours of mansions and test drives of Chrysler vehicles will set the stage for the All-American Weekend, with the Chrysler brand as the title sponsor. At a cost of about $50,000, Chrysler will join seven Hearst books to host about 300 Hearst readers Oct. 15-17 in the upscale town of Newport, R.I.
Events will range from the jazz show sponsored by Esquire magazine to a regatta with Motor Boat & Sailing on America's Cup racing yachts to a clambake at Hammersmith Farm, the historic summer home of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Susan Thomson, senior manager of national advertising for the Chrysler brand, decided to jump into the game when the Hearst Group brought her the proposal about six months ago. 'The clientele will be excellent,' she drools.
Thirty thousand invitations were mailed to affluent prospects from the Hearst database in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and metropolitan New York. Hearst has promised Thomson the database of the attendees.
Thomson also will have the 300M, Town & Country and Sebring convertible on hand for participants to drive.
'It's worth it just to have that database,' Thomson says, adding that she probably will follow up with attendees by direct mail.
Taking your vehicles to the people is the wave of the future, Thomson believes. And that could spell bad news for traditional media buys.
'As media expenditures escalate, you need to do more hands-on things with your customers,' she says. 'If people aren't going to come to us, we'll go to them.'