Jeep Has Grand Plans

Chrysler Corp. next month launches a $100 million campaign for its Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle with the bold claim that it’s what Superman drives.
The “Jeep. There’s only one” divisional tagline continues, but the Grand Cherokee ads get a new themeline: “The most capable sport utility ever.”
Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., created one 60-second and seven 30-second spots. One, “Kent County,” shows a Grand Cherokee traveling through clouds to a hidden cave, where the driver parks and removes his dry cleaning from the back seat. Superman’s logo is visible on the clothing, marking only the second time DC Comics has licensed use of the Man of Steel’s insignia. (Ogilvy & Mather’s American Express spot with Jerry Seinfeld was the first.)
An African American spot from Don Coleman Advertising, Southfield, Mich., and a Hispanic spot from Montemayor y Asociados, San Antonio, Texas, also will air. PentaCom, Troy, Mich., handles Chrysler media buys.
Gerald Wayman, Jeep communications manager, said the upcoming campaign will get the client’s largest budget ever. The sport utility marketplace is getting tougher as new competitors join and “you have to re-establish yourself every day,” Wayman said of the spending boost. Chrysler spent $90 million on the Grand Cherokee in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Backing the capability claim is an 18-minute video, “Prove It,” created by Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and available to consumers through a toll-free number (or a reply card with print ads). The video outlines the results of a three-month study conducted by Automotive Marketing Consultants in Warren, Mich., in which the Grand Cherokee battled 23 other vehicles in head-to-head testing.
The campaign also includes eight print executions, breaking in October issues of such national magazines as Sports Illustrated, Time, Fortune, Martha Stewart Living, Travel & Leisure and Motor Trend. The media plan also includes outdoor and daily newspaper buys in 33 markets.
Grand Cherokee advertising will be displayed in 26 airports, and the 60-second TV spot will get in-flight exposure on 12 airlines.