We Hear: Chrysler Names DDB Chicago as Creative Lead on the Jeep Account

By Patrick Coffee 

Chrysler has made several big changes to its agency roster over the past 12 months or so, and today sources confirm that its latest shift involved moving lead creative duties on the Jeep account from FCB to DDB Chicago.

The Windy City office has worked on the account before: It created “4x4ever,” one of two Jeep spots to air during Super Bowl 50.

Iris Worldwide of New York was responsible for the “Portraits” ad, which featured classic photos of various celebrities and won Adweek’s Super Clio award for best ad of the Big Game.


Chrysler’s recent series of agency moves began with the Jeep account: The client ended its relationship with former AOR GlobalHue last March after choosing to sit out the 2015 Super Bowl. It then chose “roster shops” Doner and The Richards Group to help “re-colonize America” on behalf of classic Italian race car brand Alfa Romeo before telling various trade pubs that it did not plan on naming a single AOR for either the Jeep or Romeo brands and assigning project-based work for the former to 72andSunny without a review.

In August, the client pulled a 180 and announced that it would, in fact, be issuing RFPs for both accounts.

A couple of months later, Fiat Chrysler completed a full digital review for all of its brands, moving much of the work previously handled by incumbent SapientNitro to IPG’s Huge (which subsequently announced plans for a Detroit office) as well as a couple of smaller shops.

Before January’s Detroit Auto Show, sources told AdAge that Fiat Chrysler had added three new agencies to its roster: FCB Chicago, DDB Chicago and Translation. According to those parties, Chrysler named DDB as its new AOR for Alfa Romeo while assigning lead North American duties on Jeep and Fiat to FCB and bringing Translation on to work on global Jeep campaigns.

That arrangement has changed.

FIAT Chrysler has not yet responded to related queries, and a DDB spokesperson declined to comment for this post today. Sources close to the matter, however, confirm that DDB Chicago will indeed be leading the Jeep account moving forward.

The precise status of each member of Chrysler’s extensive agency partner list is not clear, but our sources say FCB Chicago will no longer work on Jeep.

According to pretty much every media outlet, sales are soaring as the SUV craze continues worldwide, and Chrysler is expanding production to meet an outsized demand. It even plans to begin selling Jeep in India in mid-2016.

This news marks the latest win for the DDB organization, which retained the State Farm business in Chicago after a January review and took over for Ogilvy on the Time Warner Cable account in New York earlier this month.