FCB’s PT Cruiser Launch to Be Geared to All Ages

FCB Worldwide will concentrate on the “functionality” of the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser in advertising set to break this spring.
The vehicle is a unique, retro-looking hybrid of car and truck, which presented a unique challenge to the agency. It is drawing serious interest from a wide cross section of consumers, thus preventing the shop from keying in on a specific demographic, the automaker said.
“We’re looking at it more from a psychographic perspective,” said Jay Kuhnie, DaimlerChrysler communications director, who manages the marketing and advertising of the vehicle. “It appeals to people from 25-61. And they like it for the same reasons.”
Research indicated consumers don’t want to be told what they can do with the vehicle, Kuhnie said. “Consumers have said, ‘Just tell me what it does,'” she said. Consequently, the TV spots will focus on the vehicle’s functionality.
The TV and print portion of the ad campaign, developed by FCB’s Southfield, Mich., office, is scheduled for the spring, Kuhnie said. A Web site and several relationship marketing events have already helped identify “hand-raisers”–consumers who have shown a strong interest in the vehicle. With almost 15 percent of interested consumers living in California, the automaker is planning some specific regional advertising and marketing efforts for that state, Kuhnie said.
Kuhnie declined to discuss spending, but hinted at a heavy media schedule by saying consumers “would definitely know the vehicle is out there.”
The automaker spent $298 million in 1998 on measured media for all of its Chrysler brand vehicles, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Of that amount, $58 million was spent to advertise the Chrysler 300 M–a launch equally important to the company as the PT Cruiser. The 300 M was the first vehicle that began to help “contemporize” the nameplate’s image, Kuhnie said.