Friday, May 8

Starting Over: Chrysler, Not Campaigning

"When we asked consumers what they wanted to know about Chrysler, they told us to tell them about our products, tell them why they should buy our vehicles and give them a reason why they should be confident in the future of this company," — Steven Landry, executive vice president - North American Sales for Chrysler, told Adweek.

According to the article, that is why the first 30-second ad is a corporate anthem spot called "Bright Future" despite the company's filing for protection under Chapter 11. While the new commercial will air on prime time, it's anybody guess whether consumers will embrace the campaign from Omnicom Group's BBDO in Detroit.

Some of it follows the tone set by its ENVI oriented site. The main site, on the other hand, still leads with a contradictory message that says "Celebrating 25 years of innovation." Whatever happens, we're pretty sure it will be very different than when Chrysler really was a new car company.

Chrysler has plenty of ground to make up. Ford clearly has an advantage, being ranked first in the ability to connect with consumers via social media. One wonders whether the new campaign, apparently grounded in traditional media, can shift sales despite the strong online presence Ford has built.

After all, what Landry says consumers want to know is what they've always wanted to know: what do you sell, why would I buy it, and will you be around if I do? In some circles, that's called a value proposition. But according to the Adweek article, Chysler says it is "part of our continuing mission to build cars and trucks you want to drive."

That would be as opposed to those other car companies. You know, the ones who build cars and trucks we don't want to drive.

Regardless, it will be interesting to watch whether the new partnership with Fiat and a traditional campaign from BBDO will be enough. Based on the partial sneak peek of the television commercial Under The Pentastar and the smart comments made by a handful of consumers on their blog, we're not so sure.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout Rich, If I were into vans, or very large fancy cars I would look to chrysler however, I prefer small fast cars with good milage. This car company does not meet my needs. With Fiat they have the oppertunity to bring over to the US some of the small efficent cars of EU it would then be possible to look at Chryler as something other than a company not keeping up with the needs of the buying public. The same really holds true for all the Big 3. starfire101

Rich on 5/11/09, 12:40 PM said...


What a great comment. You are right.

As an update to this story, we're not sure what they are going to do. Chrysler wanted to spend $134 million in advertising over the nine weeks it's expected to be in bankruptcy -- the U.S. Treasury's auto-industry task force gave it half that. That means half the impact, if there is any impact.



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