Dodge Tries New Tack for Ram

DaimlerChrysler’s re-styled Dodge Ram will be launched this fall under the division’s new tagline, “Grab life by the horns.”

The estimated $60 million campaign from PentaMark for the 2002 Ram pickup breaks in mid-September with a TV, radio, outdoor and print campaign.

TV spots that break Sept. 17 feature music by Aerosmith, who earlier this year signed on to promote Dodge. The “sub-tagline” for those ads will proclaim the Ram to be “the Mayor of Truckville,” said Jeff Bell, DaimlerChrysler vice president of marketing communications.

The “Mayor of Truckville” theme will be carried throughout Ram advertising, which also includes an eight-week, 25-city promotional event with dealers that launches Sunday, Bell said.

Notably absent from the campaign is the voice of Edward Herrmann, spokesman for the division for eight years. The campaign is striving for a “street-smart” feel opposed to the “book-smart” feel the automaker attempted to express with Herrmann and the “Dodge. Different” campaigns, Bell said. That tagline was used for two years.

Former BBDO president and chief creative officer Dick Johnson, who retired in June, was involved in some of the initial creative sessions for the Ram campaign, said John Hammond, PentaMark executive vice president and director of the Dodge account.

Bill Morden, executive vice president and executive creative director at the agency, came up with the new Dodge tagline, Hammond said.

The automaker is spreading credit for the tag among several of its shops. In on the strategy in addition to PentaMark were the Arnell Group and Fusion 5 in New York, two brand strategy outfits brought in by DaimlerChrysler earlier this year, Bell said.