Hankering to feel the wind in your hair, but can't swing the dough to pull off an epic road trip? Never fear: if you've got the right stuff (and a video camera), Sears Auto Center might be willing to foot the bill.
For the second year in a row, Sears Auto Center is sponsoring the "Exploring My America" contest. The rules are a tad convoluted, and the "Exploring My America" website has a few functionality issues, but here are the most important details:
• Over the next few weeks, Sears Auto Center will pick out four destinations (currently, Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola At DAYTONA), and contestants will put together teams to compete for the chance to travel to those destinations
• Each team should consist of at least two members, and each team member (a) should be a licensed driver, (b) with comprehensive auto coverage, (c) who has no more than one moving violation in the past 12 months and no accidents at all within the past 24 months, (d) who "likes" the Sears Auto Center Facebook page, and (e) who has "shopped at Sears, either in-store or online, in the last 12 months".
• The car used on the road trip has to be owned or leased by one member of the team.
• To enter your team in the contest, you'll need to submit a video (three minutes, max) explaining your route, including the five to ten stops you'll make along the way that make your trip truly extraordinary.
• In evaluating submissions, the creativity of your video will count the most, but production quality, charisma (i.e. how "camera-friendly" you are), and social media exposure (i.e. how many Facebook friends you have) will weigh heavily, too.
• "Entries must be dignified, modest and in good taste", so keep it clean, Jolene.
• You have until Sunday, May 29, at 11:59 ET to submit your video for the Daytona road trip. Other trips will follow with new deadlines.
Sears will pick two teams for each trip, doling out $1500 in travel expenses along with other goodies. Teams will document their trips with video, tweets, and other postings to social media sites. At the end of the contest, one team from each trip will be selected to win a grand prize.
At first glance, the "Exploring My America" contest looks a lot like Ford's successful Fiesta Movement campaign. At second glance, it looks even more like Ford's recent "Go Do" campaign for the Explorer. But hey, with gas prices climbing, we're not about to turn up our noses at a free vacation just because it lacks originality.
For more details, check the press release below, or visit ExploringMyAmerica.com.
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Sears Auto Center Seeks Social-Savvy Road Warriors for Second Annual "Exploring My America" Contest
Travelers to Document Week-Long Road Trips to Dream Destinations
May 18, 2011
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Road trips have long been a part of American culture, but drivers often skip the most important aspect of preparation: proper car maintenance. This travel season Sears Auto Center is launching the second annual Exploring My America contest to help groups of friends and families experience dream journeys to favorite destinations across the country, while teaching them the importance of caring for their vehicles before hitting the road.
Road warriors interested in embarking on one of the eight Exploring My America fantasy road trips must submit creative audition videos at exploringmyamerica.com. Sears will select finalists for each trip and then America will vote to determine two teams to participate in each road trip. The road trippers will be asked to chronicle their journeys and share their travel experiences with America via the contest website and Sears Auto Center's Facebook (facebook.com/searsauto), Twitter (twitter.com/searsauto) and YouTube (youtube.com/user/searsexploremyameric) pages.