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Jeep Targets Young Women

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DETROIT DaimlerChrysler's upcoming ad efforts will try to attract more young women to the Jeep brand with the Compass, a goal which, despite the relative success of the promotion, was not accomplished by Jeep's association with Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider two years ago, according to Joe Eberhardt, evp of sales and marketing at the company.

Eberhardt made his remarks today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The company has not determined the marketing approach for the Compass vehicle, which launches in the summer, but "will skew more female, younger and more city-oriented than the Liberty," he said.

"It addresses the market of those who want the freedom and authenticity of a truly off-road vehicle and the imagery of a Jeep," Eberhardt said. The launch budget was not disclosed.

Overall, Jeep spent $400 million on ads in 2004 and $270 million through October 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Omnicom Group's BBDO in Detroit is the lead agency on the business.

Also at the show, Toyota and Nissan unveiled updated versions of their signature cars.

Toyota's industry-leading Camry, which was up 1 percent to 432,000 units in 2005, per Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif., was refreshed as a gasoline version and introduced as a hybrid model.

"The Camry is, in a sense, our brand," said Kim McCullough, corporate manager of marketing communications at Toyota. "The Camry hybrid marks the hybrid coming mainstream."

McCollough said that company expects to sell 30,000 hybrid units. She would not disclose marketing budgets for Toyota's four launches in as many months, but said the RAV4 small SUV relaunch, currently under way, is now Toyota's top priority.

"Compared to last year, when you saw a concentration on trucks, this year's marketing will feature more passenger cars and hybrids," said Jim Lentz, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, Torrance, Calif., pointing to upcoming rollouts of the Yaris, FJ Cruiser and Camry Hybrid, as well as relaunches of the RAV4 small SUV and Camry. "We've set a sales goal of a 5 percent increase for 2006, but if the market hits 17.2 million units, a 10 percent increase is possible."

Nissan's Sentra, which rose 12 percent to 119,000 units last year, per Car Concepts, was given a significant update for relaunch in September.

"Sentra is a vehicle that you truly live in," said Joe Shands, creative director at Nissan's agency, Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. "It was designed specifically for younger consumers who are in and out of their cars from morning to night, going from school, to clubs, taking a shower and getting right back in the car."