By on May 13, 2010

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.

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15 Comments on “Jeep Avoids “i live, i ride, i am” Agency For Grand Cherokee Launch...”


  • avatar
    Amendment X

    I don’t understand the incessant pandering to the female demographic. Jeeps are not girly. They are tough, rugged, basic vehicles. Females traditionally do not like vehicles with those qualities. If girls want to drive Jeeps, that’s fine and all, but I don’t think the majority of females desire to drive Jeeps.

    So why water down the brand with girly marketing? Are they trying to turn Jeeps into a “girl’s car?” Why are these marketing companies so damn stupid?

    They would probably say “Well, Dodge is our male-demographic brand. We also have Ram. Jeep is a lifestyle vehicle that appeals to both genders equally, most notably young active college graduates. In order to attract females to what is perceived as a male-only brand, we need to create commercials that show females enjoying the freedom and practicality offered by vehicles in the Jeep brand.” It would be the typical pile of marketing sh*t that we always hear from these boneheads.

    Wait ’til they get their hands on the Fiat 500…

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    you have to admit it though…that song does stick in your head.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Am I the only one to notice that the graphic for Jeep’s marketing strategy is a giant green arrowhead pointing downward?

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    I live. I ride. I am…on borrowed time…Jeep

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    X,

    think about the marketing in terms of sales – if your Wrangler demo is 70/30 male to female and you toss a couple of commericals out to hit the ladies, what’s the harm?

    The men will still buy (are dudes really going to be offended by showing hot chicks driving their Wrangler) and you pick up some additional female customers – it’s an easy way to grab low hanging sales.

  • avatar
    Turbo60640

    I really don’t like that song, probably due to the annoying and repetitive vocals. It doesn’t help that they had it playing on endless loop at the auto shows.

  • avatar

    I would advise simply splicing every current model into their old “Will” ad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKC0emCF6A8

    Except maybe the Compass.

  • avatar
    thalter

    How come none of these spots actually shows a Jeep going off road, ostensibly its more core value?

    Most of the virtues they are touting (wind in your hair, sun in your face, freedom, fun to drive) can just as easily be had in a Miata.

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    What’s crazy about those commercials is that they all show nice clean Jeeps being driven on pavement. What the hell? That’s like every other generic car commercial!

    I can make a better Jeep commercial in my sleep. First thing: Lots of MUD! Second thing: Rocks. Third Thing: More mud. Cut-and-print.

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    40 years ago when I was studying marketing. Marlboro cigarettes, Eldorados, and Jeeps were all considered male homosexual products.

    The maker of Marlboro cigs advertised like hell to change their image. Not sure about GM with the Eldorado or who ever owned Jeep at the time, they might still be considered gay products.

    As for going off road about the only people who actually do go off road are usually on a bicycle.

  • avatar

    The “Hair” Ad would have worked well…for the Liberty with the optional giant sky-slider sunroof. For the Wrangler it fails.

    As others have said, the advertising for the trail rated Jeeps needs to emphasize their off road capabilities. Its the core competency of the brand.

    Jeep is the Faitsler brand that is living on borrowed time the least. Had Chrylser not been bailed out, Jeep and the Dodge trucks would likely have been the only portions salvaged. The brand has surivied the neglect and occasional abuse of Willys, AMC, Renault, Chryler, Daimler and now Fiat.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    A couple of years ago, Jeep was using ads that not only showed the current product but also tossed in a few images of older Jeeps…as a Jeep owner, I really liked these ads as it sort of made you feel like Jeeps were “one big family” and the elders of the Jeep line were welcome to the reunion.

  • avatar
    Cynder70

    The agency doesn’t always get to call the shots. My experience tells me the new boys running the show saw females as the most logical place for market expansion to keep dollars rolling in.

    It’s brand deafness.

    Jeep has been successful because instead of selling features, they’re selling an ideal: rugged, freedom, go anywhere, can-do spirit. Those attracted to the ideal are attracted to the brand.

  • avatar

    Wheeljack,

    I remember those commercials. As the proud owner of a ’72 Commando, I was quite pleased to see one flash across the screen, as brief as it may have been..


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