Durango, Jeep Hit the Campaign Trails

CHICAGO BBDO and GlobalHue position Dodge Durango as more powerful and comfortable and Jeep as more durable than their competitors in separate campaigns for the two DaimlerChrysler nameplates.

The Durango ads, which break during CBS’s National Football League telecasts on Oct. 26, introduce two characters and a new tagline, “Big size. Smooth ride. Hemi power.” The first television spot, called “Debate,” introduces the characters of Joe and Liz, who will appear throughout the campaign. In the spot, the two say they have each done separate research on which SUV is more comfortable or capable for their needs. They each throw down brochures before realizing they are both talking about the Dodge Durango.

Three general-market spots from Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Detroit will follow in mid-November. In each of the spots the characters discuss the benefits of the Durango with each other, their friends and a marriage counselor.

Also included in the campaign will be one Hispanic spot and an urban-targeted ad, both created by GlobalHue of Southfield, Mich. In the Hispanic commercial, a husband gives his wife a necklace for their anniversary and declares that he has bought himself a new Dodge Durango as a present. Later, the woman is seen driving the car and the man is wearing the necklace.

The urban spot is set in a men’s room as two men at urinals discuss the model’s larger and more powerful engine while looking at a poster of the SUV. Another man in a restroom stall who cannot see the poster mistakes those topics for something entirely different.

The Jeep campaign launching in late October touts the line’s Trail Rated badge, which is affixed to all of the 2004 models: Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Wrangler. The emblem is meant to signify that every Jeep is designed to perform under a variety of challenging conditions.

In one television spot, a Jeep is shown driving across Arctic tundra, fording a stream and scaling a boulder. A voiceover states that the vehicle is not awarded gold medals or world championships based on those achievements. “So why do we make sure every Jeep 4×4 is Trail Rated to meet such strict standards of capability?” asks the voiceover. “Perhaps, the better question is, why doesn’t everybody else?”

A second television ad created by GlobalHue presents an African American couple shopping for a new vehicle at a Jeep dealership. As the man takes a better look at the trail-rating emblem, he is drawn into the world of rigorous testing the cars face.

Both ads close with the line, “If it’s not Trail Rated, it’s not a Jeep 4×4.”

Spending for the two campaigns was not immediately known. DaimlerChrylser spent $35 million on advertising for the Durango and $300 million on its Jeep brands last year, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus.