News & Events

Chicago Auto Show Ramps Up to Connect With Social Influencers


Contact: Mark Bilek
Senior Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632

Contact: Jennifer Morand
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986



CHICAGO (December 9, 2015) – Once again the Chicago Auto Show will amplify trends and news occurring at the nation’s largest auto show through social media activations with the objective of extending the reach to what show organizers call “non-traditional automotive audiences.” The show has formed partnerships with Digital Megaphone, an organization that creates educational and interactive events for marketers and bloggers, and Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association in the industry dedicated to word-of-mouth and social media marketing. Together, the Chicago Auto Show and these organizations have formed activations and initiatives that help drive engagement with key influencers and spread excitement for the nine-day public show.

Digital Megaphone will invite key social media influencers to attend the media-only event on Friday, Feb. 12. They will be among the first to see the latest vehicle introductions and cutting-edge technologies. Influencers will be charged with creating a #CASViralVideo using select social media channels. The videos will be judged for a chance to win exclusive prizes up for grabs. The goal of the challenge is to engage digital influencers to put their creative spin on the news and trends coming out of the nation’s largest auto show and the automotive industry overall.

“The 2016 Chicago Auto Show viral video challenge will once again give social media influencers and traditional media the opportunity to explore the show floor during the Media Preview to capture and share their perspective of the latest industry trends while boosting the automaker’s announcements via social media,” said Digital Megaphone Founder and President Hope Bertram.
Additionally, the Chicago Auto Show and WOMMA will host the fourth annual “Driving Engagement Award” ceremony to bring national recognition to one automaker’s particularly engaging social media campaign. Historically, this event has been the culmination of WOMMA’s review and selection process. However, for the first time, WOMMA will enlist consumers to weigh in and cast their vote via an app on the Chicago Auto Show’s Facebook page.

“Whether offline or online, word of mouth has always directly impacted the auto industry – and research proves that’s more true today than ever,” said WOMMA President Suzanne Fanning. “According to our Return on WOM research study, with higher consideration categories like automobiles, a word-of-mouth impression can be up to 200 times more effective than a paid media impression.”

The Digital Megaphone and WOMMA partnerships combined with the Chicago Auto Show’s strong Media Preview provide a powerful platform to strategically reach a new demographic of consumers.

“The Chicago Auto Show is such a visual place and a prime venue to create compelling content, so we will continue to work with organizations like Digital Megaphone and Word of Mouth Marketing Association to invite top influencers from across the country as well as local bloggers to partake in these engaging activations,” said 2016 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Colin Wickstrom.

For more information on the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, please visit    


About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North America vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2016 public show will be February 13-21. For more information, visit or

About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of more than 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit

About Digital Megaphone
Digital Megaphone creates educational and interactive events for markets and bloggers. Thousands of marketers from fortune 500 companies have attended our educational events. Our blogger events connect brands like Kenmore, MasterCard, Jockey and the Chicago Auto Show with social influencers and bloggers in interactive settings that go beyond the typical mass product trial pitch. We are matchmakers who take the time to get to know every influencer we work with as well brand marketers looking to connect with them.

Creating integrated programs and partnering with top influencers has been a key to Digital Megaphone’s success for programs such as the So You Wanna be a Designer Blogger Episode where we worked with the show’s team to integrate bloggers into the episode and host a twitter party that generated 13 MM impressions in one hour.  Digital Megaphone also helped MasterCard gain millions of online and earned TV media impressions during their Priceless Chicago blogger campaign.

About Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)
WOMMA is the official trade association in the industry dedicated to word of mouth and social media marketing. It is comprised of members from elite Fortune 500 brands, agencies and service providers, such as McDonald's Corporation, Unilever, Nestle, Nissan, Heineken International, Edelman and more. These exceptional thought-leaders across the globe and innovative companies are committed to expanding the word of mouth marketing industry through advocacy, education and ethics. For more information visit

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