After a solid six months of cringe-worthy Jeep ads, Chrysler is replacing ad agency Global Hue for the launch of the forthcoming 2011 Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee’s launch materials will be developed by Wieden + Kennedy, which is currently the lead creative agency for the Dodge brand, and recently created the trippy “Alright, Kittens” spot for the Grand Caravan. According to AgencySpy [via Jalopnik], GlobalHue will continue to be Jeep’s lead agency, despite offering few signs that it actually understands the brand. What do we mean by that? Hit the jump for more.
GH’s “Hair” ad at the top of this post was one of the more controversial Jeep ads, pissing off the hard-core fans by pandering to on-roader fashion girls looking for a new accessory. The ad itself, isn’t that bad though… and subsequent Jeep ads have been both brand-deaf, and tone-deaf. Literally.
This douche-appeal spot “Sun Chasers” is just one of several featuring Jeeps new, annoying synthesizer-heavy jingle. And though almost everything about the spot is objectionable, at least it’s clear who Jeep is going after with it. Which isn not something you can say about other initial Jeep ads from GH, like this one titled “Reality”
You got that? People who buy Jeeps don’t watch television, ergo you, dear consumer, are not a Jeep buyer. Enjoy your evening.
Perhaps the best Jeep ad since the Fiat takeover is this one, titled “Clocks.” The concept is there, elements of the execution are there, but somehow the ad fails to explain what clock-watching has to do with Jeep. Instead the ad posits a “choice”: either you work (i.e. watch the clock, and occasionally your back) or you drive a Jeep. Unless you were born into enough money to support yourself and buy a Jeep, that’s one hell of a confusing “choice.”
And really, “confusion” is the best word to describe Jeep’s advertising since being taken over by GH. Once the Chrysler Group’s strongest brand, Jeep is clearly suffering from lack of what George Bush called “the vision thing.” That’s not all Global Hue’s fault: Jeep brand boss Michael Manley clearly isn’t providing the direction. His three phase Jeep marketing strategy as laid out last fall, during Chrysler’s five year plan presentation looks something like this:
Without a more coherent vision from the top, it’s no wonder Global Hue’s ads have been all over the place. But then, Wieden + Kennedy has done a fairly decent job with some of its Dodge ads, despite even less explicit leadership on the issue of what the hell that brand is supposed to mean anyway. If they don’t knock the Grand Cherokee out of the park, it’s going to be a long year for the Jeep brand.