Jeep First To Use DirecTV Service

Chrysler’s Jeep division will try something new this fall when it launches the Jeep Commander SUV in October. Besides advertising on network TV, Internet and other traditional media, Jeep will be the first auto advertiser on a new service from DirecTV. The interactive service lets Chrysler measure click-throughs and time spent viewing ad content, as it might gauge traffic to an Internet Web site. Ad links reside on the DirectTV home page. BBDO in Detroit handles the account.

Julie Roehm, director of marketing communications at Chrysler, said measurability is a critical element of the effort. “It’s great for us because we’ll know how many people are clicking on our message, and then how many people are watching the entire length of the video and how quickly they drop off.” Roehm said this allows Chrysler to switch out content, based on consumer reaction: “That’s one of the learnings we’ll get out of this. The assumption is, ‘Oh, it’s television, so let’s stick the 30-second ad up there,’ but this will give us a chance to see what’s most compelling to the consumer.”

The deal will last through mid-2006. Following the effort for the Commander will be a first-quarter push for a Chrysler vehicle yet to be determined, then a second-quarter Dodge campaign. The cumulative number of subscribers on DirecTV over the past 12 months increased 13% to 14.6 million, per the company.

Chrysler will be the first advertiser on the service, which DirecTV is calling its Advertising Development Partner program. A DirecTV spokesperson said the program lets clients research across such platforms as interactive set-top receivers, DVR and the DirecTV Media Center. As part of the deal, DirecTV will run focus groups for Chrysler Group campaigns to gauge the potential success of Chrysler’s DTV efforts. PHD Detroit brought the program to Chrysler.