What Is Dodge, And Can Wieden + Kennedy Explain It?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Based on these teasers for Dodge’s much-anticipated 60-second Super Bowl ad, we’d have to say they’re still working it out. One thing is for certain: if the point of spinning off the Ram brand was to broaden Dodge’s appeal, the new ad wizards aren’t trying hard enough. The ad above, like most of the latest tranche of Dodge ads, is from the old-school, knuckle-dragging, truck-alike, gender-role-based marketing school. In short, the new Dodge is nothing new…

…which means one thing hasn’t changed: the best reason to buy a Dodge is that the world is probably going to end soon. Because Quetzalcoatl knows you won’t want to look at those projected resale values.

But, before you know it, we’re back to the gender role game. How many Caravan sales honestly fall victim to a potential customer’s need for manliness?

This spot is heading in the right direction, communicating a promise of frugal performance that we thought would be a bit more central to Dodge’s brand repositioning. It’s still hardly a perception-shifting spot though, and the technology it highlights is hardly the latest word. Still, it explains Dodge in a way that owes nothing to the Ram legacy that Chrysler says it wants the Dodge brand free of. If Wieden + Kennedy go in this direction instead of comparing Dodge vehicles to socks or breaking out the truck marketing book-o-cliches, the brand might have some kind of shot at surviving what Sergio Marchionne tells Automotive News [sub] is a “crucial” 2010 for the brand. Otherwise it’s game over.

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4 of 27 comments
  • J Sutherland J Sutherland on Jan 27, 2010

    They have to advertise-you guys have killed them off so many times that you've got a priest on retainer for Last Rites

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 27, 2010

    My wife and I got a good chuckle out of the Charger ads. Especially the comment about the lap-dogs. Particularly funny since my wife owns a 2009 Charger and a 5 lb. toy Poodle.

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Jan 27, 2010

    I guess nothing Chrysler or W+K do will ever be as bad as that Volt ad with the dog licking a foot...

  • INeon INeon on Jan 27, 2010

    They're surely not as good as the ones with people jumping up and down in excitement over their new 1987 Toyota Tercel... I love what you do for me, Toyota. Or... the island reggae spots wherever 120hp Protégés are serenaded: zoom zoom zoom. Or Mr. Opportunity knocking, once-a-freaking-gain, on my television screen. I do understand breaking the fourth-wall is supposed to be ironic, but Al Bundy does it better. Speaking of-- Why doesn't Dodge get Ed and Katey to do a nice humorous spot wrapping up the past, perceptions and future? It'd be hilarious, and totally blue-collar-- Chrysler's bread-and-butter.