Friday, March 19, 2010

Chevy's Road Trip Challenge Shows Off Fans Using Social Media on the Road

As I mentioned in my last post, Chevy is the lead sponsor for the Manic Mommies podcast. So it was only fitting that our meet up in Austin would be at a Chevy event. During the week leading up to South by Southwest, Chevy held an Amazing Race-type event for bloggers and fans across the country. They drove in Chevys to Austin from all parts of the country in teams stopping to do various fun and silly tasks along the way. Challenges included arm wrestling a short order cook, visiting odd tourist spots and museums, donating to a local Goodwill store and washing someone else's windshield.

The event on Thursday was a reception for the teams as they arrived. Team Detroit was the winner based on who completed the most challenges and had done the most interacting with their community on Twitter and their own sites. You can hear interviews with the road trippers here.

Christopher Barger (pictured here with Kristin Brandt of the Manic Mommies), director of global social media at General Motors, told me that this Chevrolet’s SXSW Road Trip Challenge was a way to engage fans and create some fun visibility for the brand. As you can imagine, the expectation is that when folk are in the market to buy a car, they’ll think of Chevy and give it another look than they might have otherwise.

And that’s why Chevy is a sponsor for the Manic Mommies. At their Escape events, GM has been there with cars to test drive and to cart participants around. They know the value of engaging women – who are more and more the decision makers in car purchases.