Chrysler Goes All-In On "Imported From Detroit"
Chrysler got so much buzz out of its “Imported From Detroit” Super Bowl ad that it sold out of apparel bearing the tagline “within hours” and even had GM Marketing boss Joel Ewanick admitting
Yeah, we’re getting our butts kicked.
Now Chrysler is literally wrapping itself in the tagline, covering its Auburn Hills headquarters with the semi-ironic (what with ChryCo headquarters being located in Auburn Hills and all) phrase. And Chrysler’s ad agency is even exploring ways to remake Chrysler’s dealerships into “Detroit Embassies.” AdAge quotes the Creative Director for Chrysler’s ad agency Wieden + Kennedy as saying
One of things we’ve been working on for last couple of days is a dealer kit. How can we make dealers around America feel like Detroit embassies? How can we put this feeling about Detroit and its optimistic resurgence in dealerships? We’ll help them keep that stuff rolling.
But will it make a difference?
Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie notes that the ad works well with Chrysler’s image of an icon reborn but
Despite the ad’s emphasis on luxury, the 200 is really competing against the core mid-size sedans offered by both domestic and foreign automakers, which means such powerhouse products in terms of reliability … and reputation as the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata. As one reviewer put it, the 200 appears to be a more value-priced alternative to these products than a strong head-to-head competitor.
Luckily for Chrysler, the ad has already increased consideration of the 200 (at least as measured by web searches) and, as MacDuffie puts it
What they’ll find is that most reviews of the car “draw an explicit contrast to the Sebring, the model on the same platform that preceded it. The Sebring had all sorts of problems, so it is easy for the 200 to make a positive impression by comparison.”
So the ad may open a few minds to Chrysler, but it still remains very much to be seen if sales improve much as a result. If not, Chrysler’s all-in bet on the tagline could transform it into a punchline.
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