Photo: By Chrysler-Group on Flickr
Dodge’s idea to hide three of its Dodge Journey crossovers around the country and have people try to find them was actually a great, creative way to get hype.But unfortunately for Dodge, it ended in scandal (via Adweek).
Dodge placed the trio of Journeys in three different regions — East, West and Midwest — and gave out clues to pursuers.
The search for the one in the West went off without a hitch, and a lucky father-son duo happily took home the prize. But the other two went terribly wrong.
In the East, Dodge gave out a phone number, assuming people had seen earlier clues that the vehicle was hidden in Maine. But many didn’t make the connection, and a poor New Yorker’s phone started ringing with hundreds of inquiries. His unfortunate story ended up hitting Jalopnik, piling up tens of thousands of views.
Over in the Midwest, a troop commander for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol named Brad Neidy found the region’s Journey. But commenters on YouTube and Facebook quickly complained that he had an unfair advantage. Neidy may have known where it was, since he helped the agency film there, they said. He would eventually decline the prize, which Dodge is still figuring out what to do with.
This marketing idea was pretty well though out — unlike a recent ploy by Toyota that was doomed to failure. But it goes to show that despite a great idea and careful planning, you just never know what’s going to happen. Marketers always have to be extra-diligent when they’re trying to pull off a feat as complex and far-reaching as Dodge’s Journey search.
One tiny mistake and everything comes crashing down. And the consequence is a wave of negative PR.
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