Chrysler Group ‘Beautifies’ Brand

DETROIT The Chrysler Group is putting its newly revamped marketing department to work in a hurry, beginning with a campaign that broke Monday via BBDO, Detroit, using a new theme, “Engineered beautifully.”

The slate of five new TV commercials, which will include a brand spot and individual ads for the Sebring sedan, the Sebring convertible and the Chrysler 300, will claim technological and design superiority, and fuel economy.

The TV campaign kicks off with a 60-second brand spot on Tuesday’s episode of ABC’s Boston Legal, while print ads will begin showing up this month in mainstream lifestyle, sports and business publications. National newspaper buys, including USA Today, are also part of the effort.

The purpose of the new campaign is to more clearly define the brand, company officials said. It will run through the rest of the year.

The technology ad is a 60-second spot that shows several models and spotlights options including a 20-gig hard drive called MyGig and safety features like electronic stability control.

The Chrysler 300 spot stresses the car’s luxury features like heated front and rear seats, road-accommodating headlights and additional chrome.

Another ad boasts that “Chrysler proves that you don’t need an import to get great gas mileage” as Chrysler vehicles wheel through with their gas mileage posted next to them.

All of the broadcast ads are set to a 2003 song by the band Aqualung called Left Behind.

“The theme and personality we want to bring out here is about our products and we are keeping them at the forefront of the message as the stars,” said David Rooney, director of Chrysler marketing and global communications. “But we also want to get underneath the style of those products and educate people about the technology.”

The new Sebring convertible, which is just hitting showrooms, will also be featured in separate print ad packages, including an eight-page insert in the 90th anniversary issue of Forbes, which comes out this week.

Chrysler has in the past weeks made several changes in its marketing ranks. Steven J. Landry was named evp for North American sales, global marketing, service and parts, while Michael Manley is now evp for international sales, marketing and business development. Both came from sales, dealer and field operations. The two take over from CEO Tom LaSorda, who had been running the sales and marketing operations since the departure last fall of Joe Eberhardt, former vp, sales and marketing.

The Chrysler division last year spent $435 million on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, down 25 percent from 2005.