Jeep is devoting more than a fifth of its budget for launching the 2007 Compass to online and lifestyle marketing.
That's on a par with what Jeep plans to spend to advertise the new crossover wagon on cable TV and in print media.
The Internet campaign for the Compass is the largest that Jeep has undertaken, says John Plecha, director of Jeep marketing and global communications. It is aimed primarily at young urban buyers.
Jeep will spend an estimated $75 million to launch the Compass, according to Advertising Age. The Compass went on sale last month.
The Compass is designed to appeal to younger consumers than those who typically visit Jeep showrooms. The media mix needs to target that audience, says Jay Kuhnie, director of Jeep communications.
The Compass launch budget breaks down this way: network TV, 27 percent; cable TV, 22 percent; print, 21 percent; Internet, 16 percent; "out of home" media, 6 percent. Radio ads and event and direct-mail marketing make up the remaining 8 percent.
Out-of-home marketing includes billboards, video projection in bars, bus-shelter ads and mall displays.
The campaign's tag line is "Jeep Compass. Freedom, in a whole new dimension." Its urban themes reflect a move by Jeep away from its traditional off-road roots.
As part of the Internet campaign, Jeep is sponsoring a build-your-own-commercial contest. It will award a Compass to the winner. The company plans to promote the contest through film schools.
TV commercials for the Compass begin Monday, July 31. The four 30-second spots feature bobblehead characters riding in a Compass through urban locales. Starting in September, Jeep will sell seven-inch versions of the bobbleheads.
A visitor to www.jeep.com can create and e-mail a bobblehead character with a face of his choosing, including his own.
Ads for the Compass will appear on the home pages of such popular Web sites as AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpace and Facebook.
The TV commercials promote the Compass' base sticker price of $15,985, including shipping. They promote vehicle features such as four-wheel drive, a 30-mph highway fuel efficiency rating, flat-fold passenger seats and a removable load floor.
The target audience for the Compass is single, college-educated adults 22 to 30 years old who live in urban areas, Kuhnie says.
Women will account for a projected 60 percent of buyers, he says.
By contrast, the median age of Jeep buyers is 52, Kuhnie says. For the Grand Cherokee, it's 55.
You may e-mail Mary Connelly at [email protected]