Schroer Outlines Future Plans For Chrysler

DaimlerChrysler consolidated its $2 billion business at one agency last year, but new marketing chief James C. Schroer said he would not rule out using outside shops for projects.

“We’ll go wherever we need to in order to have the most innovative and creative marketing,” he said in an interview last week. “We’ll go to our partner [Omnicom’s Pen taMark] first; if they can’t provide it … I’d like them to develop those skills over time. We’re better off having those skills in side our marketing partner. But if we have to use a straw to stir the drink once in a while, we’ll do that.”

Schroer, who took over in February as evp of global sales and marketing for DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group, said he expects his marketing agency’s efforts to go well beyond advertising.

“There’s a lot more to running a vehicle launch or a marketing campaign than the advertising,” he said. “It used to be the end all and be all of a marketing campaign. Now it is being relegated to its rightful position of being one important element of a great overall marketing campaign.”

Schroer said upcoming work from PentaMark, including the launch of the Jeep Liberty and a redesigned Dodge Ram, will focus on product attributes more than brand image. He downplayed the importance of tag lines for Chrysler’s brands, and intimated that one, “Dodge. Different,” could soon be scrapped.

Schroer said he is responsible for leading PentaMark in the right direction. “The real genius in managing an ad agency is not to sit there and treat them like a sup plier,” he added. “It’s to treat them like a true partner, like they are an extension of your own staff.”