In upcoming contest, students need drive to win
Anyone who has ever been on a road trip for more than a few hours knows how bothersome and cramped a car can become. Despite this, two Syracuse University students will willingly give up five days of their lives and spend their time eating, sleeping and studying in a Chevrolet Aveo.
This month, General Motors announced a contest called Livin’ Large, which will promote the launch of its new 2007 Aveo. The company chose eight universities and partnered with the Public Relations Student Society of America chapters at these schools to run the contest. SU was one of the eight chosen.
‘Chevy initially contacted one of our professors who thought it would be a good project for us to get involved with,’ said Jessie Fish, a junior public relations and political science major and co-director of Campus Hill Public Relations.
From Oct. 23 to Oct. 27, two students will live in an Aveo, where they will be filmed on a Web cam and their activities streamed to the Internet. The students will be allowed to leave the car for classes and necessary ‘bio’ breaks, but otherwise will be required to be in the vehicle at all times.
PRSSA hopes to hold the contest on Marshall Street, where the contestants will have to rely on friends or passersby to bring them food, clothing and anything else they need.
‘I think it’s a very interesting way of doing a contest,’ said Donna Ho, a sophomore broadcast journalism major. ‘I’ve heard about people staying in cars for contests, but the Web cam is an interesting concept.’
The students will be competing against counterparts at the other universities, which are Boston University, University of Florida, Howard University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, University of Southern California and Texas Christian University. Anyone can vote on the contest’s Web site, aveolivinlarge.com, for the team he or she likes the best.
To get bystanders to vote, the contestants are encouraged to provide entertainment to draw eyes to their car. The more creative they get, the more likely passersby and Web surfers will be motivated to vote. In addition to creating their own activities, the contestants will participate in challenges run by Chevy.
‘These two people are doing these crazy, crazy things inside this car for five days straight and we have the ability to watch them,’ said Lilly Testa, a senior public relations major and co-director of Campus Hill. ‘It’s an opportunity to get a lot of publicity nationally, regionally and locally for these kids and for Chevy.’
After five days of living in the car, the students will be allowed to leave and the votes will be tallied. The university with the most votes will receive three brand new 2007 Chevy Aveos, one for each contestant and one for the university.
Interested candidates applied on the Livin’ Large contest Web site, where they answered questions about why they should be chosen and what activities they will do in the contest. The application deadline was last Wednesday, and according to Testa, Campus Hill, along with Chevy and Weber Shandwick, Chevrolet’s public relations firm, will be interviewing 12 finalists today. Testa hopes to have the contestants chosen by Friday.
‘We encourage students to vote and support their fellow SU students who are chosen,’ Fish said.
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