Dodge ‘Keeps It Real’ With New Ads

Don Coleman Advertising tweaks traditional family imagery and takes a hip approach in a new campaign targeting African Americans for the 2001 Dodge Caravan, a vehicle usually associated with the stereotypical “soccer mom.”

TV, print and radio ads for Caravan are set to break in mid-October. The effort represents the Southfield, Mich., agency’s first work for the minivan brand in about five years.

The Caravan TV spot, which uses an African American cast, shows a working mom wearing red leather who needs to get away from her family now and then. So instead of hauling children around, she and her friends go off together, sitting comfortably in her red Caravan.

The voiceover is spoken in the “heroine” mom’s voice: “The Dodge Caravan has got it together. Sure, you have your family, work and responsibilities, but sometimes you need to get away.” She concludes: “When you’re looking this good, you don’t have to go home. Just go. That’s a getaway, Grand Caravan style.”

The spot closes with an adapted version of the Dodge tagline: “All-new Dodge Caravan. Different.”

The intent was to keep focusing on the minivan driver as a working mother, but with certain traits “reassigned,” noted Juan Roberts, shop evp and creative director. “We found someone who is pretty much an ‘everywoman,’ ” he said. “She speaks very real, and her script is almost kind of ‘guy talk.’ … We tried to keep it real.”

The spot is breaking on broadcast and cable, including UPN, BET and TNT. Print is running in magazines such as Ebony and Essence. Caravan print uses the same themes as the TV work. The budget was undisclosed.