Comic Books and the Jeep Patriot

Date 2007/2/9 9:49:51 | Topic: Patriot

We're not quite sure what to think about this press release yet. What do you think? Let us know in the comments area. -mike

In a nationwide promotion for the all-new 2007 Jeep(R) Patriot compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV), the Jeep brand and Marvel Comics today announced "The Patriot Factor," an on-line adventure comic book whose story line will be provided by consumers.

The four young protagonists of "The Patriot Factor" are thrust into an adventure whose success depends, in part, on their 2007 Jeep Patriots. Beginning at noon (EST) on Feb. 8, readers can propose action and dialogue for the panels of each chapter of "The Patriot Factor" at www.patriotfactor.com, (which also can be reached from the brand's main Web site, www.Jeep.com). A team of reviewers from the Jeep brand and Marvel Comics will select the best submissions.
In addition:

- Participants whose ideas are selected as inspiration for the 20-page, online comic book will receive the original illustrated panel created by accomplished Marvel artist Bing Cansino. They also will be listed as authors in the printed book, which will be 28 pages. (The additional pages are the front and back covers, and advertising.)

- The first 100,000 fans who register online by providing their contact information will receive the 28-page version of "The Patriot Factor."

"At a base price of $14,985, the 2007 Jeep Patriot is designed to attract a younger customer who has always wanted a Jeep but couldn't afford one," Jay Kuhnie, Director-Jeep Communications, said. "With the explosion of online communities, the expansion of the comic book genre into film and video games, and the continued popularity of comic books, 'The Patriot Factor' is an excellent way to introduce the Jeep Patriot to and engage our target audience with the product and the Jeep brand.

"While there have been online comic books before, 'The Patriot Factor' is unique because it uses product integration to help initiate and sustain a creative collaboration between artist and reader," Kuhnie said.

Robert Sabouni, Vice President of Business Development, Marvel Entertainment, added, "The huge Marvel fan base is a very active community. Our readers are always getting in touch with us and providing comments on fan sites about our various comic book series. This project is really exciting in that it provides our legions of fans, and fans of the action genre in general, with a unique interactive experience enabling them the rare opportunity to directly impact a comic book story."

To kick off the story line, Cansino has completed the first five pages of "The Patriot Factor." How the adventure unfolds after that will depend largely on the imagination of consumers.

The story takes place in an unnamed large city. It begins when Ryan Singer, an acclaimed electronic musician and producer, composes a song using a musical structure based on a series of numbers he overheard two strangers whispering. The story kicks into high gear when the strangers later show up at Singer's loft, apparently intent on mayhem. Quickly pulled into the story are Singer's wife, Natalie, and his best friend, Joe Starks. A fourth character, Mason Black, is the behind-the-scenes majordomo of the trio, providing them advice, encouragement and gear, similar to Charlie in the 1970s hit TV show, "Charlie's Angels."

The first five pages of "The Patriot Factor" will go on-line first; 15 additional pages will be added in the coming weeks. The panels on pages six and seven are blank, awaiting reader input. They will be writing toward the first panel of page eight, which also is available for viewing. After Cansino illustrates pages six and seven, using the selected consumer suggestions, he will also complete page eight. The process then repeats itself: Online viewers will be given pages nine and 10 to fill in, guided by the opening panel on page 11, and so on through completion.

"Even though Jeep Patriots will be driven by the protagonists, 'The Patriot Factor' is not intended to be an adventure story about the Jeep Patriot," Kuhnie said. "Instead, we want consumers to tell us how the capabilities and features of the Jeep Patriot will help this one-of-a-kind adventure story move forward."

In one scene, for example, Starks finds a clever use for the vehicle's flip-down rear speakers that helps chase away the "bad guys."

Among key elements of the project:

- The plot of "The Patriot Factor" is drawn from the action/suspense/thriller genre with cues inspired by authors like Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum.

- "The Patriot Factor" and its four characters personify the core values of the Jeep brand: freedom, adventure, mastery and authenticity.

Based on the Jeep Patriot concept vehicle first introduced at the 2005 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, the 2007 Jeep Patriot is a modern interpretation of traditional Jeep styling. Jeep Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car or small pickup. Safety features, such as standard side-curtain air bags and standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), add to Jeep Patriot's tremendous value.

All-new Jeep technology gives Patriot more capability than any other vehicle in its class. The Jeep Patriot will be available in the United States and Canada in three drive configurations: front-wheel drive, Freedom Drive I(TM) (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with lock mode) and Freedom Drive II(TM) Off-Road Package (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with low range that provides true Jeep 4x4 Trail Rated(R) capability).

"The Trail Rated Jeep Patriot is the most capable 4x4 in the compact SUV segment," John Plecha, Director-Jeep Marketing and Global Communications, said. "Jeep Patriot's capability, combined with its classic Jeep design, interior flexibility and terrific fuel efficiency, will attract new buyers to the Jeep brand."





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