By on January 4, 2010

In the first unique Chrysler brand spot since bankruptcy, America is referred to as ChryCo’s “traveling companion.” Which is a bit rich, considering the American people were generous enough to spend billions pulling the wreck that was Chrysler out of a ditch less than a year ago. Who knows, maybe the term “unwilling investors” didn’t play so well in the workshops, a possibility that might also explain why only a single modern Chrysler vehicle (the 300) is allowed to punctuate the ad’s gauzy nostalgia. In any case, notch up another Chrysler Group ad that says nothing about anything that might give one hope for the firm’s future. Ironically enough…

According to a Chrysler release, the spot

was created in response to requests from Chrysler Group dealers and research conducted which found that consumers do not realize that Chrysler Group has emerged from bankruptcy and is now a different company with a new alliance partner and a healthy product plan.

Perhaps Chrysler will release more ads in the campaign that deal a little more explicitly with the company’s situation, as this spot doesn’t mention bankruptcy or Fiat (or more than one Chrysler model currently on sale). Instead, Chrysler decided to make an ad for leather luggage. Or, as they put it

The ad features a driver bringing home a leather travel bag throughout the years in various Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles. The travel bag symbolizes the continuation of life with all Chrysler Group brands and is the string that ties the entire story together.

So it’s a symbol, a metaphor if you will. Kind of like the ENVI program, or descriptions of the Chrysler bailout as an “investment.” The message, however, is clear: do not, under any circumstances think of Chrysler in concrete, reality-based terms. Which is actually a fairly brilliant approach to selling America’s least lovable car company.

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27 Comments on “Chrysler Comes Home For The Holidays...”

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    A little galling showing old Jeeps that Chrysler had nothing to do with.

    • 0 avatar

      Same deal at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills — you’ll see old Ramblers, Hudsons, and Jeeps there.  Unlike the Henry Ford Museum, which features all makes of cars (as well as trains, wagons, and so much more), and even the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum, the Chrysler Museum only has “Chrysler” products.

    • 0 avatar

      Bingo.  I always like car ads that acknowledge the maker’s history and showcase the old products.  But pre-acquisition Jeeps are not part of Chrysler’s history.

  • avatar

    I’m not doubting that the auto-bailouts were a bad idea but Chrysler does need to advertise in order to even have the smallest chance at survival and this spot doesn’t seem any worse than similar promotions by any other car company.

  • avatar

    I know bashing Chrysler is a sport here, but I think it is a pretty good ad.

    • 0 avatar

      A sport it putting it lightly… its nearly an institution.
      This is far better than that  I am Ram drivel. I think that must have been made with less than $1000.
      This ad was simple, effective and was a great overall package. Thats clear when the naysers are reaching with their Jeep comments.

  • avatar

    I liked the spot. Maybe is because the quality of the local ones is so… ummm…well….
    The bag for signals the long  jouney Chrysler has done. The Airflow can be read in 2 ways: as a failure or as the innovative product it was.
    All cars showed in the ad somehow were innovative in their segments when they came out. Even if they didn’t invented the Jeep. But hey, you can’t stuff the bag in a 12 cyl tank to go back home.
    I felt represented myself when the gentleman entered the car. It’s exactly the same thing I do everyday, be it Isuzu Impulse, Centauro (IKCO Samand) or whatever I’ll drive in the future.

  • avatar

    Something came to mind while reading this; well, actually nothing came to mind when the thought of what new vehicles are coming out for either Honda or Toyota in 2010 and 2011? How about 2012?  Oh, the Honda CrossTour …. huh, anything else?

  • avatar

    Lets face facts.  Chrysler has no new products for years.  New products will come from Fiat that could never sell cars in the US because of poor quality.  Good ads sell good cars.  Chrysler has no good cars, nor likely will they ever have good cars.

  • avatar

    I liked it.  Much better than those awful Jeep and Ram ads.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    I thought it was a decent spot.  It does say something about longevity and it takes advantage of only showing the cars they wanted.

  • avatar

    As a nostogia Happy Holidays Ad it works.
    Yes, they are borrowing from the product portfolio of Willys Overland and Kaiser/AMC using the WW2 era Jeep and Grand Wagoneer in the montage.  As the current owners of Jeep its their prerogative.  Of course the current owners should also be afraid of the curse of Jeep.

  • avatar

    I liked the ad, even though the vintage Jeep wasn’t a Chrysler product.
    To answer Mark MacInnis’ question about ad effectiveness: Jill Wagner could almost induce me to buy a Mercury.  Kidding aside, I think most modern TV car ads are worthless except for entertainment.

  • avatar

    This may never have occurred to you, Mr. Niedermyer: There are Chrysler loyalists left, and they’re worth retaining. The work is nostalgic with a modern twist, just like Chrysler herself. The reason there is only one modern Chrysler product is easy, if you’ve half-a-brain– There is but one present. We don’t need to be reminded of current Rams, Grand Caravans, Grand Cherokees or the Challenger because they’re seen in the viewer’s mind through association with past product. Helping the viewer have an “AH HAH!” moment while drawing upon gorgeous works in Chrysler’s past-portfolio is an absolutely wonderful device.
    Maybe you’re not aware we’re living in a post-modern world? A world whereever Damien Hirst recently proclaimed he was going to be the modern van Rijn and has been taken seriously. Yes; a man made famous for presenting God’s creations, cut-into-pieces– in tanks of Formaldehyde– will become our generation’s greatest painter.
    The stank of the past will forever be present on the fingers of our collective future. Wash those hands, Mister Niedermyer– your readers tire of being asked to smell them again and again. Chrysler, for all her flaws, has done post-modern with a historical bent better than anyone else. She has reserved places in history and the future by it, and a blogger, trying as he might to take that from her– will never succeed.

  • avatar

    First point. “Borrowing” from the Willy’s/Jeep portfolio, and saying it’s not Chrysler’s history, is no different than using a Dodge in a similar “corporate” ad. Dodge was purchased by Chrysler the same way Jeep was. Just becasue the pruchase of AMC happened in your lifetime makes it no different.

    Second point. The difference between the Henry Ford Museum and the Chrysler Museum is plenty. Henry Ford created the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village becasue he believed that preserving history was important. He never intended it to be a museum of Ford products and it’s history, but more of a contribution to all of America’s industrial history. It was his original intention to be a place of history. 

    The Chrysler Museum is nothing more than a museum of Chrysler’s history.  Much like the BMW museum in Munich. The Chrysler museum was intended only to be a museum of Chrysler’s storied history and all brands involved that led to it’s current state. That history includes the Willy’s brand, its Jeep brand, and its eventual fold into Chrysler. The museum was built by the old Chrysler Corporation and run by volunteers (employees, retirees, etc.). The building was later spun off from Chrysler into a non-profit organization and the building was donated, by Chrysler, to that organization. Chrysler is no longer obligated to support the museum, but it stays a museum of Chrysler’s history becasue that’s what it’s intended to be.

    Lastly. Duly noted iNeon.

  • avatar

    I think Kia has and always has had the worst ads of any car company ever.

  • avatar

    All this ad does is remind me that Chrysler was once an American company that is now destined to be the home of rebadge Fiats.

  • avatar

    Chrysler (and its Fiat overlords) are doing exactly what they have to do here — preserving customers’ emotional attachment to their brands until they have something better to sell. It’s the right approach because it’s a long-term strategy, much smarter than the alternative of sky-high rebates to sell a few cars right now. Fiat seems to have a bit of patience to get this right. Whether they will be rewarded for their patience is at best a 50-50 proposition, but at least they’re giving it a real shot.

  • avatar

    My problem with the ad is that they end it with the 300.
    Now, I personally like all the LX cars, but they have been out for a long time and the automotive landscape has changed a lot since 2005. The 300 just doesn’t have the ability to impress the same way it did months after its launch.
    Ending this ad with the 300 gives more of a “where we are now” feeling. I think if Chrysler was shooting for a “the future is bright” message, then there should have been a spot after the current 300 that shows the newly re-designed Charger, 300, or Grand Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought almost the same about the 300. But I think the car in the ad was a bit facelifted.
      An SUV is a non-PC proposition in these times. Sadly, ’cause the new one rocks, as seen in the allpar shots.
      The 200 is a dream. The minivan are “boring”.
      I think they did the right thing. It began with a family man who left his work at the end of the day and after that journey it got home with his family.
      I like the Challenger =)

  • avatar

    This ad is Chrysler doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Chrysler couldn’t exactly make a commercial showing off the goods of there latest hot new product, because obviously they don’t have one. This is an ad for Chrysler the company, not the cars. To let people know that they still exist despite the bankruptcy/bailout.  I think its a nice nostalgia piece and the cinematography is beautiful. I also think the 300 at the end is a gorgeous car, but I’m an LX fan.

  • avatar

    Many decades ago an ad exec. said that 30% of an ad budget was spent hoping for new customers and 70% of the budget was spent reassuring the customers who had already bought the product that they had made a good decision.

  • avatar

    Good ad.

  • avatar

    I personally thought the ad was excellent. It was wonderful to see some of their older cars, and reminded the viewer of Chrysler’s, (and Jeep’s), engineering history. It seems that many people have forgotten that the Airflow was THE precursor to todays modern automobiles, with its revolutionary design and styling. Don’t write Chrysler off just yet, this company is a fighter.

  • avatar

    They dont mention the LHS cars (first or second gen).. at all.
    I also dont see any mention of Lido, or the K car… (discounting the VAN entirely.)

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