The wonderful thing about the web is that it makes it easier and easier to come up with useful ideas rather than just ads. Immerse yourself in social behavior, sharing, and how to leverage community to solve a problem and you can virtually invent new ways to sell stuff.
Which is what W&K just did for Dodge with the creation of the Dodge Dart Registry, or at least the commercial that drives you to it. Go to the site, customize your car, add the features you want, then invite friends and family to help you pay for it by sponsoring individual parts. You can watch as the money pours in (presumably) and pick up your car when it’s done. Hope you have a lot of generous relatives.
The Dodge Dart Registry is like Facebook meets Kickstarter. A commercial application of what Steven Johnson envisions in his book Future Perfect.
It’s not so much a digital idea as it’s an idea for a digital world. It allows you to customize the experience, share it across the web, and get people involved with a few clicks and links. And, of course, the entire experience generates content and awareness as you’ll want to share and promote your wish and your your contributors can share their support. Dodge gets data, profiles, free social media attention and probably some sales out of the deal.
Not that digital registry’s are a new idea. Lots of brands have tried similar tactics. And it’s not as if this hasn’t been considered for a car company. In fact student Hedvig Astrom shared a similar idea with the advertising industry a year or so ago in her NY Art Director’s portfolio review. (Heck, for all I know that may have been the genesis of the Dart idea.)
But either way, any idea that can make it easier for a young Millennial to buy his or her first car is a good idea.