Dodge Staggers Its Fall Ad Rollout

Chrysler Holding Some TV Spots for ’99 Model Year Until January
DETROIT–Chrysler Corp.’s Dodge division is choosing to spread out the launch of new creative work for its ’99 models rather than unleash the whole pool at once.
While 14 new TV spots broke over the past few weeks, the automaker will hold seven more until after Jan. 1, said Dick Johnson, president and chief creative officer of BBDO in Southfield, Mich., Dodge’s national agency.
Two new spots for the Dodge Intrepid are now airing, and a third breaks this week, Johnson said. While a spot showing Dodge’s full line won’t appear until 1999, one promoting eight Dodge vehicles is set to break later this month. Titled “Plug,” the ad plays up the division’s toll-free information number and Internet address.
Two new Durango spots are included in the ’99 lineup, and three spots will carry over from last year.
Chrysler spent about $550 million on measured media advertising for its Dodge division in 1997, and $290 million through the first six months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Actor Edward Hermann, Dodge’s spokesman, provides the voiceover for all of the spots, and appears beside the vehicles in spots for the Intrepid and Durango. Most of the ads still feature red vehicles–a signature color in recent Dodge work–with the exception of two Intrepid spots that feature black vehicles. That change was made at the request of dealers, who wanted some differentiation between the two different Intrepid models, Johnson said.
BBDO breaks its own rules with one spot for the Dodge Caravan minivan, Johnson said. While the agency generally prefers a strategic rather than emotional approach in its ads, the spot titled “Opens Up” talks about the “minivan experience,” although “no moms, dads or kids are included” in the ad, Johnson said. The spot’s tagline is, “The world’s most popular home away from home.”
The Dodge division moves into the 1999 model year with a new general manager, Jim Julow, formerly executive director for Chrysler’s corporate marketing.

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