Thousands of life-size smiling images of Newmar Corp. President Matt Miller affixed to paddle sticks — AKA “Flat Matts” in campaign jargon — have found their way across North America since the beginning of July as part of a promotion through which “Flat Matt’s” were mailed to all of the company’s U.S. and Canadian dealerships.
The idea, the brainchild of Newmar Marketing Manager Shannon Stover and the Nappanee, Ind., company’s Element Three marketing agency, is for both RV-owning and non-RV-owning consumers to incorporate “Flat Matt” images into all kinds of pictures of people and places and submit them to the company, which, in turn, selects one or two winners a week.
“We weren’t formally ready to roll this out quite yet, but at the closing ceremonies of our owner club rally — the Kountry Klub rally down in DuQuoin, Ill., in June — we had kind of given everyone a preview of what was to come with ‘Flat Matt’ and the whole promotion and the impetus behind the campaign,” explained Newmar Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Sammut. “And the people immediately afterward wanted to come up and find out where they could get their ‘Flat Matt.’ It kind of started there, and it has gained momentum ever since.”
“We’re going to give away a Sony iPad, and because it’s Sony, the most entertaining photo that we receive will win the Sony iPad,” said Stover, adding that River Park Inc., a national distributor of mobile audio products for RVs, boats and specialty vehicles based in Elkhart, Ind., is providing the Sony iPad.
Newmar is also giving away a Big Green Egg Grill, and Matt Miller would like to have pictures submitted of people cooking or grilling to win that prize, said Stover.
But the rest of the prize winners, again, are all being selected at random. “All the other prizes that we’re giving away, including the grand prize, are all computer-generated,” said Stover. “I click a button, and it takes all the people that have submitted photos, and it gives me a lucky candidate.”
All in all, the promotion is meant to remind consumers in an “easy, fun and quirky” way of Newmar’s corporate sales and service support wherever those people might be on the American road.
The new promotion, by the way, coincides with Newmar’s senior management’s decision to drop its annual U.S. tour of dealerships, which it had done for the past couple of years to elevate the personal profile of its senior management.
“The guys this year weren’t planning on taking a road trip” said Stover, “and we wanted to replace it with something fun. That’s how we came up with the heads, because I knew everyone would participate in this. It would be kind of be a competition; it was quirky enough, and all anybody had to do was take a picture with their camera or their smart phone, upload it and there it would be.”
“Flat Matt” pictures are being uploaded to gonewmar.com as part of the promotion, which runs through October, after which the grand prizes will be awarded: A choice among a $3,000 gas card, $6,000 off any Newmar Class A motorhome or $10,000 off any of Newmar’s diesel coaches. Other prizes include Newmar-branded apparel and folding lawn chairs.
Flat Matt’s are available at Newmar’s corporate office, the company’s service customer waiting area and tour building and through marketing partners Spartan Chassis in Charlotte, Mich., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. in Gaffney, S.C., and River Park. They’re also available through Newmar’s website: gonewmar.com.