Automaker Beginning a 3-Week Post-Merger Ad Blitz This Week
DETROIT–Chrysler Corp. and Daimler-Benz AG officially become one on Nov. 17, with a three-week print and direct mail advertising blitz set to begin the following day.
The “Day One” campaign includes a 12-page magazine insert and nine two-page newspaper spreads, all created jointly by the two companies’ corporate agencies: Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., and Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, Germany [Adweek, Oct. 5].
Additionally, Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Chrysler’s collateral agency, created an elaborate 24-page booklet about DaimlerChrysler that will be mailed to 130,000 “opinion leaders”–a group that includes Fortune 500 company heads and government leaders both in the U.S. and Germany and is the target of the entire campaign.
“The campaign is not intended to sell cars,” said A.C. “Bud” Liebler, Chrysler’s vice president of marketing. “We want people to come away with high expectations of the new company.”
The campaign will appear in more than 100 countries, mostly in English, although German-language ads are being prepared for a few overseas newspapers. All three components feature the work of photographer Richard Avedon and include the tagline “Expect the extraordinary.” That line was coined by David Vawter, Bozell senior partner and the corporate account’s creative director.
The campaign highlights the qualities that both companies claim define them–curiosity, courage, speed, energy and passion. Each virtue is coupled with photographs of employees from the companies and a message about how they exhibit that quality. One newspaper spread features Robert Eaton, Chrysler Corp.’s chairman, along with Jurgen Schrempp, Daimler-Benz’s chairman, with the headline: “Vision meets vision.”
Funding for the campaign came from the two companies’ “corporate integration kitty,” Liebler said, not from Chrysler’s corporate ad budget. Chrysler committed an estimated $70 million to the “Great cars. Great trucks” corporate effort from Bozell that will now be dropped.
The magazine insert and newspaper ads will appear in major metropolitan dailies and in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The campaign is intended to capitalize on the companies’ brand equity while introducing the new merged entity. Ads will also explain who Daimler is for Americans who may only be familiar with its Mercedes unit, Liebler said.
Daimler-Benz’s $38 billion acquisition of Chrysler was announced in May; so far, officials say they intend to maintain separate marketing programs for the Chrysler and Daimler-Benz brands. “The separation of brands and the individuality of brands will remain,” Liebler said.
No consolidation of media buying is planned, but Liebler said DaimlerChrysler could save money through combined media buying in certain cases. PentaCom, Troy, Mich., handles Chrysler media buying. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz division uses Lowe & Partners/SMS in New York for all U.S. creative and media buying.
The two automakers have also looked at sharing customer relationship marketing, Internet initiatives and consumer databases, Liebler said.
“The whole intent of this thing is how are we better as one, rather than two,” he said.
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