Chrysler Launches Brand Blitz via BBDO

NEW YORK A week after filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws, Chrysler said Thursday it is launching a new corporate ad campaign for U.S. and overseas markets.

The initiative crafted by Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Detroit is designed to remind consumers that the automaker is still open for business, while highlighting the range of current and future vehicles in Chrysler’s portfolio and touting its rebirth as a global car company per its alliance with Fiat of Italy.

New ads break May 11 during prime-time shows. A Chrysler rep declined to say how much the company was spending on the campaign. The automaker spent nearly $850 million last year in U.S. media alone, per Nielsen.

“We’re building a new car company. Come see what we’re building for you,” a line that debuted in print May 3, is used in the TV spots, which focus on the quality, technology, safety and value built into Chrysler vehicles, the company said.

“When we asked consumers what they wanted to know about Chrysler, they told us to tell them about our products, tell them why they should buy our vehicles and give them a reason why they should be confident in the future of this company,” said Steven Landry, the company’s evp, North American sales, marketing, motor parts and service. “We believe this campaign delivers on all of those objectives. In addition, this campaign gives us the opportunity to reinforce that it’s business as usual and demonstrate a bright future ahead for Chrysler.”

The first 30-second ad is a corporate anthem spot called “Bright Future.” The commercial focuses on the strength of Chrysler as a company as it works through its restructuring and finalizes its alliance with Fiat.

Images include shots of workers in the Chrysler design studios and assembly plant. The voiceover explains that Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep are building a new car company and restructuring to be stronger, leaner and more competitive. As the spot moves through the design studio to footage of the Dodge Journey, the narrator says: “Our new alliance with Fiat gives us access to even more high-quality, environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient vehicles.” The spot continues with footage of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town & Country. The narrator says: “It’s all part of our continuing mission to build cars and trucks you want to drive. Plus we have the best lifetime power-train warranty in the industry, backed by the U.S. government.” The ad closes with a shot of the Dodge Circuit Electric, Chrysler 200C Electric concept and 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee as the voiceover concludes: “At Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep, the future is not only bright. It’s electric. Come see what we’re building for you.”

Another 30-second spot, called “Open Road,” has a product-feature focus:

Opening with shots of two Jeep Wranglers driving through the countryside, the spot quickly cuts to a woman in one vehicle, top open with the sun shining in. On-screen text appears: “We build escape pods.” Next, a Chrysler 300 drives through a dark tunnel; the super reads: “We build luxury suites.” A crash test of the Dodge Grand Caravan carries the message: “We build security blankets.” The super for a Jeep Grand Cherokee perched on a hill overlooking a beautiful vista says: “We build observatories.” A shot of a Dodge Ram motoring through muddy, rough terrain says: “We build mechanical bulls.” As a Dodge Challenger takes off down a road with smoke behind it, the super calls out: “We build rockets.” As the sliding door of a Dodge Grand Caravan opens and children pour out, the message is: “We build starting gates.” The spot closes with a shot of the Dodge Circuit Electric, Chrysler 200C Electric concept and 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee as the voiceover concludes with the line, “At Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep, we are building a new car company. Come see what we’re building for you.”

The TV spots will break on programs such as NBC’s 30 Rock, Biggest Loser, My Name is Earl, The Office, Southland, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU and Law & Order Criminal Intent; ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives; and Fox’s 24, Fringe and House.

A coordinating national print ad appeared in newspapers in the top 50 U.S. markets on May 3 and in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and New York Times on May 4.

In addition to the corporate spots, there will be individual 25-second product ads, which dealers can tag with a 5-second retail message. The first spots will feature the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Additional product spots for the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Ram and Dodge Journey will roll out later.

In the product spots, key features of each vehicle are highlighted by relating that feature to something more familiar and more memorable for consumers. Each of the spots closes with a build of the brand logo, beginning as if an engineering drawing and finishing as the pristine brand emblem.

The “We build” theme will also be used overseas, but the ads will be revised to meet individual market needs. Canada will run the corporate television spots through May. Mexico will also launch with the corporate print ads and television spots the week of May 11. They will continue running the campaign with specific product advertising in magazines and TV through July. 

International markets will have four TV spots available to air, featuring the Chrysler Grand Voyager, Chrysler 300C Sedan, Dodge Journey and Jeep Grand Cherokee, in addition to a spot specifically edited from existing assets to promote the three brands. There will also be international-specific print ads created to support the Chrysler Grand Voyager, Chrysler 300C Sedan, Chrysler 300C Touring, Dodge Journey and Jeep Grand Cherokee. There will be a tri-brand version made available as well. The creative for international markets will roll out over the next few months.

Related: “Chrysler Fallout Sign of Things to Come?”

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