Humor Key to PT Cruiser Intro

FCB’s Upcoming Ads Focus on Hybrid Vehicle’s Features
DETROIT–FCB Worldwide takes a light approach in the upcoming $70 million spring launch of DaimlerChrysler’s new vehicle, the retro Chrysler PT Cruiser.
Insiders who saw some of the initial work say creative conveys the passion owners and potential owners feel about the crossover vehicle, a sort of car/truck hybrid.
Sources said the automaker initially intended to spend more than $100 million on the campaign but has adjusted that downward. Dollars are being shifted toward nontraditional advertising and public relations activities to help maintain a buzz about the vehicle.
In one of several TV spots from FCB, Southfield, Mich., a wealthy man who has been kidnapped and is in an elevator attempts to bribe his captors. Money, artwork and other offerings are snubbed by his foes, who look down their nose at his bribes–until he dangles the keys to his new PT Cruiser. He’s promptly freed.
In another spot, a man driving his PT Cruiser through a toll booth drops his change on the floor. A camera follows him through the vehicle as he attempts to locate the lost coin, an effort to show the versatility of the vehicle’s interior. The driver retrieves the coin and tosses it at the bin, but misses.
“The message clearly is that the underlying strength of this car is if you actually like it, you love it,” said one source familiar with the spots.
People who viewed the spots said there was no distinct tagline.
A print execution shows the passionate owner of a PT Cruiser who has cut a hole in the wall of his home so he can keep an eye on his car.
DaimlerChrysler executives say the vehicle cannot be pigeonholed to a particular demographic segment and they are purposely taking a noncommittal approach to the market target.
“We’re looking at it more from a psychographic perspective,” said Jay Kuhnie, Chrysler communications director, who directs the marketing and advertising of the vehicle. “It appeals to people from 25 to 61. And they like it for the same reasons. Coolness really transcends age.”
Research indicates consumers don’t want to be told what the vehicle, which doesn’t really fall into the car or truck segment, can be used for. So the TV spots will focus on the vehicle’s features, he said. K