Jeep this summer is hitting 16 markets with a series of ride and drive events that give consumers a chance to test their limits on steep off-road driving courses. The Rocks and Road tour is a full-day experience that is visiting air shows, festivals and state fairs until October to show off the brand’s new 2011 vehicle lineup. Taking center stage is the 2011 Grand Cherokee, which features a plethora of new hi-tech features to make highway driving safer and more fun, while taking off-road capabilities to the next level. Also on show are several of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited packages, including the top-of-the-line Rubicon.
To show off the vehicles’ capabilities, there are two tracks: the on-road and the ain’t-no-road here. The on-road ride and drive track shows off handling and turning radius to full effect, while subtly displaying Jeep’s comfort features like leather seats and high-end sound systems. For the off-road experience, consumers can choose to be chauffeured through the course or to get behind the wheel for some real driving. There are 30- to 40-degree side inclines on the track to show off the stability and low center of gravity, significant gradients for the vehicle’s axle articulation to shine and, of course, the mountain, which rises at a 40-degree angle to about 30 feet high and shows the driver that the sky is not, in fact, the limit of Jeep’s capabilities.
After the drive, and before the adrenaline wears off, the attendees are set up in front of a social media kiosk, where they make a video about the experience and post it directly to Facebook and sign up to receive an email copy for their own use. Other attractions include a climbing wall, soft-top speed challenge, a teeter-totter for drivers to try and level off (yes, in a Grand Cherokee, and no, not easy), and for the kids, a kid-sized course with electric-powered miniature Jeeps to tool around in. There is no swag for sale, but the Jeep museum shows off some of the best from the past and present for true fans to envy and covet to their hearts’ content.
“Jeep’s always been a brand where the lifestyle and experience are as important as the vehicles,” Jennifer Applebee, event marketing manager at Jeep, told Buzz. “We really wanted to tap into the group of dedicated Jeep fans. We can’t get better brand ambassadors than them. We like to give our customers a chance to talk about the brand and speak for us.” Agency: George P. Johnson, Auburn Hills, MI.