Mack Trucks, which manufactures its trucks in Lower Macungie Township, has been putting out an annual calendar for longer than Neil Tolbert, Mack's director of marketing and communications can remember.
“Just about forever,” he said.
The calendar is popular with truck aficionados. The company prints about 40,000 calendars each year. They are distributed worldwide.
But now, inspired by social media, the 119-year old truck manufacturer is letting its truck owners and fans have a say in the vehicles being featured.
For the fourth year, Mack is holding an online contest to select six trucks, which are out being driven in North America today, and featuring them in their annual calendar.
“Part of it is our social media strategy to continue to engage our audience,” Tolbert said. “In the past we would selectively reach out to customers and feature them.”
But he said social media started looking like an even better tool to find some of the truck stories that were out there.
The number of truck drivers and fans following Mack on social media sites has grown significantly over the years. It has more than 186,000 followers on Facebook alone. So, the company decided it would go to the fans to find and select trucks to be featured along with the six new trucks that Mack features in the annual calendar.
“We like to include our own ‘beauty shots’ too,” Tolbert said.
The nominations come from a wide range of trucks, some of which have been on the road for more than 20 years, some of which have been specially decorated and some of which are just loved by their owners. One truck will be selected from each Mack truck line including the Mack Anthem, Pinnacle, Granite, Granite MHD, LR and TerraPr, plus an additional category for Mack models which are no longer in production.
Winning trucks will receive a professional photo shoot that will be featured in the 2020 Mack Calendar.
The contest has become a successful online marketing tool for Mack. Last year the contest received more than 750 vehicle submissions for the six slots and 50,000 fans voted for their favorite.
Tolbert said that by having those entering the contest reach out to their own friends and contacts to get votes, it helps Mack reach further out into the truck industry fan world and obtain more followers.
“We encourage them to use their own social media channels,” he said.
Mack’s fans and followers are allowed to cast one vote per day, per category for the duration of the contest.
This year’s contest is already off to a strong start, he said. In the first week of voting the top entry had already received 795 votes and the second top vote getter had 699.
“We’re expecting a lot of activity on our website through the end of May,” Tolbert said.
Those looking to enter a photo of their truck or vote for a favorite can go to https://www.macktrucks.com/calendarcontest/.