By on December 8, 2009

It’s officially unanimous: literally everyone thinks the new Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler ads from Sergio Marchionne’s brain trust are crap. Sure, you knew that TTAC doesn’t think much of the spots, but were you aware that Chrysler’s dealer council has requested that Chrysler stop showing the ads? Sadly, Bloomberg only quotes one dealer on the plea, who explains that

it is a little difficult for us to understand because it is far different from what we were used to seeing. The message to us is that it is branding, branding, branding, and maybe that will work.

Last months sales prove that the “branding, branding, branding” approach hasn’t worked, and common sense tells us it won’t ever until Chrysler gets some worthwhile product together. Which might be why the Chrysler brand simply ripped off a Lancia ad for its latest spot (with, if anything, even less success). Chrysler has finally settled on a new agency, Minneapolis-based Fallon, but with a turnaround plan based so heavily on branding and marketing, and with dealers already unhappy, they’ve got their work cut out for them.

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30 Comments on “Chrysler Dealers Hate Their New Advertisements...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    I see a ticking clock, not for the Jeep advert, but for Chrysler LLC as a whole. Probably not the best advertising technique they could have picked….

  • avatar
    djn

    This one made sense to me.  They’re looking to create aficionados for the Jeep family, not any particular hunk of sheet metal, bolts and washers.   You don’t advertise Armani by giving the specs of the buttons or thread count of the cloth.  As a long time Alfisti, I’d rather drive any Alfa rather than something else, given a choice.  I believe that’s the attitude they are aiming for with the Jeep commercials.  The fact that the dealers don’t get it, is not a shocker.  There is  a lot they don’t get.

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    The ads are great – that simple.  And I’m with djn on his assessment of dealers.
    I’m a proud Jeep owner, and these ads convey my pride.  They also share what that means with other potential new owners.
    It’s the perfect way to tell the world what being a Jeep owner is all about.  Clear identity builds great brands, yet it’s missing from just about every line right now as they battle over which soundalike’s going to tell us how owning their car means we’ve ‘arrived’.  Jeep’s brand building effort stands out from this crowd and I’ll bet will be the beginning of a trend away from the current string of “me-too” auto ads.

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    The Ram ads are fine; The Jeep ads are fine.  Haven’t seen any Dodge ads, but the Chrysler/Lancia ad makes me cringe.  There’s nothing wrong with the ad artistically, but the subject matter makes me cringe.  I don’t think this connects or resonates with either the interests of the typical American or the the typical American Chrysler customer.  Nice try, but I would scrap it.

    A very effective ad is the Mercedes ad where the car crashes through the plate glass window.  I don’t have a clue what the narrator said, but I made the impression of performance and something technologically worthwhile.

  • avatar
    tced2

    The dealers seem to be very short sighted.  I understand they want a lot more sales in a very short period.  But it is very hard to make much of a difference in a few months of advertisements.  I have barely seen any of the new advertisements and I suspect this is the case for the public at large.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    The RAM ad is absolutely ridiculous.  It would be a lot better if they had just removed the asinine “My tank is full.”  When my tank gets full, I get up and go to the bathroom.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Potty Talk Theme:  Wasn’t Ram the one who had the infamous “Size Matters” urinal commercial during the Superbowl a couple of years ago?

      p.s. IIRC, they fired the lady in charge of developing the ad not long after.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I agree with Pahaska, I can’t stand the Ram ad.  On the other hand either its the only one that I’ve seen, or – more likely - its the only one I remember.  I guess if I remember it it’s not the worst advertising.

  • avatar
    lw

    The Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge brands are simply not relevant anymore.    Every brand has die hard buyers, but that doesn’t equal volume or profit.
    They need 1-2 game changing products (like the minivan) to save the company and they need them to be rolling off the assembly lines NOW.
    Credit can only tighten for the foreseeable future.  0% is as low as she goes.
    How many Chryslers are they going to sell at 12% interest with a 20% down payment?
     

  • avatar
    Cynder70

    I’m not really wanting to say I’m a well placed ad executive, I’m not.  Instead, I’m a lowly creative working in the ad industry.  I click a mouse and push the buttons that make the creative go to web, print, screen.  What I do know is that previous Chrysler branding didn’t work.  Starting with the “we got a hemi” series of neanderthals that may have appealed to a certain segment but was enough to turn off most buyers.
    My experience with car ads is pretty broad.  Local dealers want big sales and often forget that they’re not just selling a machine, they’re selling an experience that extends beyond the sale.  If they do it well, and many dealerships do, the buyer will come back.  Chrysler dealers (GM and Ford too) have forgotten that to sell a car is only one step of the process.  The dealership experience is integral to the ownership experience which is pivotal to the brand identity.
    All of this is to say that the dealerships are blaming the wrong people/creative if the cars aren’t selling.

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    This is so positively sexist…
    And I will admit this…

    But CHRIST.. the Jeep ads are quite positvely the worst.

    It STARTS OFF showing a bunh of girls.. getting their hair done… the background talking about how they waited.. to get their hairstyled..

    And all they want to do is hop into their Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.. and get their hair tossed.

    Christ.. this is where JEEP IS HEADED!?!
    Positioning THEIR best seller.. to a bunch of girls.. more suited to a CRV or a Jetta…

    I mean damn.. shove them into a Commander.. with the windows.. and the sunroof open and lt that be the pitch… stay away from the Wrangler Unlimited..

  • avatar

    AccAzda,
     
     
    Agreed, the “salon to the Jeep” ad is incredibly annoying. The only way it makes sense is if it’s part of an effort to expand the Wrangler’s market beyond the 18-35 male demographic. Frankly, I think showing a young working woman driving the Wrangler as an alternative to other inexpensive cars makes more sense, but, hey, I don’t work in advertising.

  • avatar
    DangerousDave

    The Ram ads are the worst.  The “My tank is full” ad is so pussified (if thats a word) that it is the opposite of what a tough, rough truck ad should be. 

  • avatar
    fisher72

    I live, I ride… What? Riding is motorcycles and bicycles, you drive a car/Jeep.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    +1 that the ads are very bad.  Cringe worthy.  The Jeep “I live I ride I am” ads are horrible. 

    I know they’re trying to portray an image like Harley does with their bikes.  The Harley ads tend to have a lot more swagger and grit.  Jeep has that mero-sounding guy saying I am Jeep in a not-too-convinving tone.  Horrible.

    How many vehicles are they selling per month now (excluding fleet sales)?  I think it’s 25k units to private hands.  It can’t be long before Chrysler closes up.  At least I won’t have to hear another lame “I am Jeep” ad then. 

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Can we finally kill off Jeep this time, or can we spread the Jeep disease to Ford?
    [disclaimer: really tired of Grand Cherokees on my tail as I pass Chrysler HQ on the way to a better, more enlightened Detroit automaker\'s offices in the morning]

  • avatar
    motron

    Larry Reid, owner of White Bear Dodge, is the guy quoted as saying he doesn’t understand the new advertisements. Go check out his commercials here:
     
    http://www.whitebeardodge.net/ads.htm
     
    It will be pretty clear why he doesn’t understand.

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    motron +1

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Maybe they should complain about the shitty vehicles they have to sell. Work on one thing at a time.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Perhaps one of those “Buy a Mopar or we shoot this dog” type ads then shoot the dog if not enough Mopars are bought.
     
    Hey!!!! This is the USA!!!!
    Does anything other than a quarterly profit report really truly matter?
    Besides, who cares about PETA and I despise yapping mutts.
    The planet is too dern’ noisy, anyway.
     

  • avatar
    rnc

    What the dealers want are the same old “buy/one get one free” and “$10,000 off” ads that I’ve seen for years so that they can continue to make money while the mother ship dies.  Same thing applies for GM dealers, they were making money hand over fist, to them what was wrong, things are great.  I have to imagine that after 30 years of selling by discounting and massive cash on the hoods, the chryco dealers (and thier customer base) don’t really know any different and are probably quite afraid of it.

    • 0 avatar
      AccAzda

      Well, you cant possibly think Fiatsler sells vehicles based on their merit.. could you?

      I mean for Christ sake…
      Ya dont buy a vehicle from Fiatsler.. because its a decent vehicle.. do you?

      I mean damn..
      I’d like to talk to a single Chrysler buyer.. who actually didnt buy it for employee reasons.. or cash on the hood.. or cheap enough.

      Imagine that… Fiatsler shop.. selling cars based on merit.  Thats crazy.

  • avatar

    I don’t get that ad at all.

  • avatar
    Nutsaboutcars

    The Ram ads are moronic. Maybe the intended demographic are no Einsteins either? But the Chrysler 300 ads are ludicrous, what the eff has the Burmese Dissident have to do with some bankrupt Detrpoit automaker that is in bed with the most unreliable, cheapo Euro Automaker?

  • avatar

    This is the same story from Acura to Volvo – Regional dealer  groups hate national creative because its too broad, and the local dealers hate the regional ads because its not about price.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Mount some cameras on the bumpers of Jeeps and film a few friends going down a trail or dirt road to go camping. Let the Youtube enthusiasts make some DIY commercials. I’ve seen some VW Synchro YouTube videos that even make we want one of those.
    Offer $5K for each video made by a Jeep owner and used on TV.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WbcXSG5tgI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLoLvJe45Ek
     
     


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