In the old days when someone needed money for a car they would ask a relative for it, generally after laying a masterful groundwork of butt-kissing. Dodge is taking the swindle to the millennial generation and beyond with the Dodge Dart Registry – a crowd-funding website that appeals to the pocketbooks of the Internet masses. The goal is to purchase a Dart, or even a piece of one for that matter.
HOW IT WORKS
Anyone over 18 who wants a Dart can go to the Registry and create a free account. They’re asked to design the “Dream Dart” they’d like help purchasing. Depending on how option-happy users are, the total price of the ride can range from about $17k to nearly $30k, at which point one’s left to wonder if they should just wait for their trust fund to mature.
Once the ideal car is configured hopeful owners set a goal for how much money they want to raise. They’re encouraged to plead their case to mom, dad, Uncle Charlie, and every Internet person they know through social media accounts.
The case itself is the most important part of setting up the profile. Here users write and/or post a video to explain why they deserve help buying a Dart. The more endearing the message the more likely people feel compelled to donate. Sixteen days into his campaign, Registry user ‘Paul’ raised $858 with the message:
“Yep, even nerds who draw graphic novels need a car to go buy new art supplies and safely drive their child to school and run other errands. I need all your help to buy a new car to help get me and my family safely from point A to point B. Thanks much!”
With all the parameters in place, profilers set the length of the fund-raising campaign for 30, 60, or 90 days. Donations can be made with credit card payments ranging from $1 to $5,000 with a total cap per account of $30,000; about the price of a fully-loaded Dart.
For added quirkiness, benefactors can choose a specific part of the Dart they'd like to pay for – everything from nuts and bolts to spare tires and multi-stage front airbags.
At the end of the registry period site users are mailed a check with the funds raised from their campaign, whether they met their goal or not. They can use the money to help with a down payment, outfit the car with options, or just keep the cash.
There’s nothing that says money raised from the Dart Registry can’t be pocketed and spent on scratch tickets and a giant trampoline. One would hope people wouldn’t act so nefariously, but even if they did it might not matter so much to Dodge.
Their goal is to boost Dart sales. They’re essentially getting free publicity for the car through buzz registry users create with social networking tools.
From a site-user’s standpoint the main drawback is that 9 percent of the registry money they earn is deducted for fees (5 percent crowd sourcing commission fee & 4 percent payment processing fee).
Regardless, the Dodge Dart Registry is a clever marketing tool. Even if Dodge doesn’t sell more than a handful of cars to site users its an easy way to gain exposure. So easy it just might work.
Watch the ad for the Dodge Dart Registry here.