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Coleman Cools It for Caravan

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Spots from Don Coleman Advertising for the 2001 Dodge Caravan that target African Americans attempt a more hip approach to a vehicle usually associated with the stereotypical "soccer mom."

The Caravan campaign, set to break this month, is one of three from the Southfield, Mich., agency. African American target spots for Chrysler Sebring break this week, while work for the Jeep Grand Cherokee is set for later in the year, according to agency representative Michele Edwards.

The Caravan spots feature a working mother, but one who is decked out in red leather and needs a fling away from her family every now and then. The agency's intent was to maintain a focus on the minivan driver as a working mother, but they "reassigned certain characteristics," said Juan Roberts, executive vice president and creative director at Don Coleman.

"We found someone who is pretty much an 'everywoman.' She comes across very confidently, she speaks very real, and her script is almost kind of 'guy talk', " Roberts said. "It's not overly emotional. A lot of times advertising will have women speaking overly emotional about simple things. We were determined not to do that. We tried to keep it real."

The spot, entitled "The Getaway," has a woman who, rather than hauling a load of children around, decides she needs to get away with friends, and the minivan accommodates them comfortably.

While the spot features an African American cast and targets African Americans, the storyline is intended to be "global," Edwards said.

Coleman's 30-second spot for the Sebring coupe features musicians Angie Stone, Yolanda Adams and Nnenna Freelon. The Jeep spot is still in development.

Pentacom, Troy, Mich., the automaker's dedicated media planning and buying service, has purchased time on both cable and syndicated TV programs, including UPN's The Hughleys, Girlfriend and The Parkers. The print buy includes Ebony, Essence, Heart & Soul and Jet.