Dodge Signs Hipster Ad Agency Wieden + Kennedy

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Of all of Chrysler Group’s branding conundrums, the de-Ram-ified Dodge brand has got to be one of the toughest ones. Without the truck-based image or styling, Dodge is a brand without a purpose, and Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles brought little to his brand presentation at Chrysler Group’s five-year plan that would help explain what Dodge is or why consumers should choose it. Other than more refined youthfulness and less rugged wisdom. Or something. Anyway, if Dodge is really to be “all things to all hip people” as the Autoextremist succinctly puts it, they sure picked the right ad agency. Wieden + Kennedy does hip like few others, having started with Nike’s “Just Do It” and taken off from there. As the ad above, and several other Honda spots prove, the guys knows how to bring some youthful enthusiasm to the otherwise staid, desperate world of car advertising. And goodness knows recent Chrysler Group advertising needs the help.

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  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Jan 07, 2010

    Sadly, this new hip agency is going to be charged with the task of advertising the same garbage products that Chrysler's been hawking for the past few years. And hip is one thing that they are definitely not.

  • Pgcooldad Pgcooldad on Jan 07, 2010
    Anyway, if Dodge is really to be “all things to all hip people” - , they sure picked the right ad agency. Just as Chrysler is on it's road to redemption by picking the right agency for Dodge, so it TTAC for actually saying something positive of Chrysler. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step for more than one entity.

  • Rpol35 Rpol35 on Jan 07, 2010

    Dodge's target market is simple, it's the same one as Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc., what I would call commodity cars. And it's OK to have a full-size model like the Charger and a sporty model like the Challenger, though the Charger needs an update. What's not OK is to have the Avenger and Caliber which supposedly cover the bread & butter, volume based, highly competitive segments. Dodge has absolutely nothing with those two chowder-headed models. I don't know how a "hip" ad agency promotes a non-hip company that has no "hip" models to sell.

    • Pgcooldad Pgcooldad on Jan 07, 2010

      You are right on all accounts, but the Charger is getting an update and the Challenger is a classic design that should not change much. The Avenger has two problems. One is definitely the interior which is getting a complete makeover; the other is noise from engine compartment, an easy fix. Design wise it is respectable. Now as far as safety, the thing is an all around five star performer and the platform is solid. The Caliber .... they should scrap it aspa. Check out the 2011 Charger's rumored looks below: And what they are doing to fix what they inherited. The problem at Chrysler is time. The previous owners starved it of products needed now. superbadd75, I like the Boston Terrier, I have two. Now can you add some substance to your posts?

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Jan 07, 2010

    This firm has a + in their name which tells me they're hip, but while their portfolio is impressive and they do good work, with all due respect, people were going to buy Nikes, Levis, and Hondas no matter who handled the ads. It won't be hard to improve on the many missteps Chrysler group has already taken adwise (the Journey, T&C, Ram, and Jeep ads are all, IMO, horrendously awful,) but this firm cannot perform miracles, and that's what they'll need in addition to lots of lipstick for the nigh unmarketable pig that is the Chrysler product portfolio. None of Chrysler Group's ads since the Fiat takeover have even attempted to make an argument for why their product deserves consideration over any other brand on the market. Blind brand loyalty and charity will only get you so far...

    • Seth L Seth L on Jan 07, 2010

      Yup. It's still all about the product. I'm kinda enjoying the thought of a Widen Kennedy meeting about the Compass. "How the hell do we sell this?"