Chrysler Using Dale Earnhardt Jr., Consumers To Power 'The Dark Night Rises'

By Barry Janoff

June 18, 2012: Chrysler plans to take full advantage of its tie-in with The Dark Knight Rises, the soon-to-be released third movie in the Batman trilogy, via consumer activation that was given a significant boost this past weekend by Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

On Sunday, Earnhardt Jr. snapped a streak in which he had gone 143 races without winning by finishing first in the Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway. He not only was driving a Chrysler, but his No. 88 was decked out in Diet Mountain Dew/The Dark Knight Rises-themed colors when it crossed the finish line.

Chrysler is now promoting "Imported from Gotham City," which challenges consumers to create an original TV spot that features the automaker and The Dark Knight Rises movie, scheduled for release July 20 from Warner Bros. Pictures.

Consumers are being directed to a dedicated Web site where between now and June 29 they can submit an "original commercial utilizing a suite of assets, including Chrysler 300 car footage, film footage and music stems from the trailer that contestants can remix for their spot." Many of the submissions will be posted on June 30, beginning a four-day period in which visitors can vote for their favorite treatment.

The top three finalists will be unveiled online. Batman director/writer/producer Christopher Nolan will select the winning spot, which will debut on TV to coincide with the release of the film. A trip to Hollywood for the premiere is also part of the winning package. (Full details here.)

A 30-second "Imported from Gotham City" spot with a 2012 Chrysler 300 is scheduled to break June 19 during programming on NBC. A 60-second version will break online at Chrysler's YouTube channel. The Batman-themed activation is an offshoot of Chrysler's current "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign from lead agency Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

"The 2012 Chrysler 300 featured in this marketing and advertising campaign was created intentionally to look as if it could be driven on the streets and fit in to the nightlife of Gotham City," Saad Chehab, president and CEO  for Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, said in a statement. "It's clearly a vehicle that stands out and makes one take notice,"

According to Nolan, "We're excited for the opportunity to tap into the creative community online and allow those who participate to showcase their talent and passion. We look forward to seeing what unique spots people produce."

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