Commercial Break: How To Bring A Car To Market In 93 Seconds

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

A hot tip from a few friends in my generational cohort, the ones who don’t drive or have any interest in motoring. They all love this ad for the Dodge Dart and encouraged me to check it out.

At 1:33, it’s a good deal longer than most car commercials, but it seems to be resonating with people beyond the catchy use of a Jay-Z song. As one friend remarked “I have no interest in the process of creating a car, but it held my attention.” I’ve put advertisement critique to the TTAC readership before ( here, here and here), and it turned out that we have some marketing professionals in our ranks. The floor is open again.

Join the conversation
4 of 41 comments
  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Sep 11, 2012

    It's not bad, better than all those ads with the car driving around the Salt Flats or a winding road. Too bad it's selling a car that's just the replacement for the Neon, only 5-6 years too late.

  • Junebug Junebug on Sep 11, 2012

    OK, let's say that you don't read TTAC or any car web site, or magazine, and you see this add. I think that would make a big difference, I know I'm jaded by what I read here. I actually wanted to check out the Dart and from what I read in the "pre-view" phase, thought it might be a good car, a "little" Charger with better gas milage and sporty looks. Now, nope - not interested, I did go look at it but just couldn't get the negatives out of my head.

  • John John on Sep 13, 2012

    Trendy ad. I suspect Generation Y is intelligent enough to know no mass market car is built without a lot of committee meetings, and that the ad is a lie.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Nov 27, 2012

    This is an example of a great ad. Again, the five P's of product marketing... Product Persona Position Price Packaging Product: Given where Dodge was with compact cars before the Dart came along, anything was improvement. The Dart has not been holding up well in the car reviews, and finally got some seat time in one. It's "adequate," it has some great features, but it looks better in pictures and the interior, although having some high tech bits in it is a bit, plasticky. BUT - product did do a pretty good job. They have the MPG story, the technology story, and the we built it from the ground up (well via Italy) story. Persona: They are nailing their target persona perfectly. The images and story told play, in my opinion very well the cynical Gen X and Y. We went against convention. We left the suits and the bean counters out (even if that isn't true). We didn't get marketing involved until the geeks actually developed the product. All of this points to those cynical of the whole car process because the process drips of cynicism. It also tells these personas, we are passionate, we believe - and the "lead designer" actor in the ad is aspirational. Clearly in his 30's, he screams, "you want to be like me, empowered, smart, ground breaking, heavy coffee drinker." And the cameo by Tom Brady, in his 30's, three Superbowl rings and the dude bangs supermodels as a hobby. What guy doesn't want to be Tom Brady for the day. Position: They position themselves well here. We're different. We're ground breaking. We worked hard to get this right. Again remember, this is the "message," and message doesn't have to reflect reality. We worked harder than anyone else and we didn't just go buy a Toyota Corolla (remember, they show the car falling out of the sky and being crushed) and tried to copy it. We went and reinvented it. Price: Heavily played in the ad - $15,995 is where it starts. Of course that doesn't get you that big screen, the fast engine where you can four-wheel drift around the turn (that scene also appeals to Gen X and Y) but no need to bring that up. It's all in the positioning. Packaging: Packaging doesn't mean the box it comes in (but it can) and in this case the packaging is the ad itself. It is outstanding. And for over 90 seconds, it does an amazing job of holding your attention (most eyes roll back in the head after about 30 to 45 seconds). This is a damn good ad. It only misses one thing. At the end of the ad there is no call to action. I guess you could say going to is implied, but it should be called out. Especially because this ad positions the car as new, ground breaking, ground up, outside of convention, we're different. A go to XXX to find out more and a custom landing page would have been the cherry on the cake. I love this ad, and overall I have been very impressed with Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep advertising since the Eminem Superbowl ad (which was also a work of art)