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Chrysler Wins Innovation Kudos

Maker hailed for Super Bowl commercials.

by on Feb.18, 2014

Bob Dylan in the ad for the Chrysler 200.

The annual Super Bowl was awash in clever automotive ads from an industry Who’s-Who, but few did more to stand out than the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobile, whose marketing effort made quite an impression despite the competition – helping win the maker a series of new kudos, including one from  Fast Company magazine, which has honored FCA as one of the world’s most innovative companies.

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For the fourth consecutive year, meanwhile, commercials from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were ranked first among the many automotive Super Bowl commercials by viewers in the 2014 annual YouTube Ad Blitz contest.

“The annual YouTube Ad Blitz poll is a key indicator of impact of the Super Bowl commercials, and we are proud to hold the top auto position now for the fourth consecutive year,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler Group LLC.

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Chrysler Hopes to 3-Peat With New Super Bowl Ad

Downplaying expectations after two touchdown passes.

by on Jan.17, 2013

Eminem rapped poetic during Chrysler's first Super Bowl breakthrough.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, it sometimes seems like the battle between advertisers can be as fierce as the fight on the field. But Chrysler has been a real standout the last two years, first with an unconventional, two-minute spot featuring rapper Eminem, then last year returning with Clint Eastwood.

With the game a matter of weeks away, Chrysler is hoping to three-peat with a commercial still being pulled together. But one thing is certain, with Super Bowl airtime more expensive than ever, the automaker will look to find ways to leverage its message by making use of social media opportunities.

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Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and the man behind the company’s stand at the last two Super Bowls, said thenext Super Bowl ad is still in the works. It’s been shot but it hasn’t taken final form yet, he noted during an interview this week at the North American International Auto Show.

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Chrysler Wins Big for “Imported from Detroit” Campaign

“Grand Effie” for controversial Super Bowl spot.

by on May.25, 2012

Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" campaign lands a Grand Effie as the most effective ad campaign of the year. The first spot featured rapper Eminem.

Controversial? Perhaps, but a jury of its peers also has found Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl spot highly effective.

The campaign, which includes a series of ads playing off the Super Bowl spots with rapper Eminem — and then followed this year by commercials narrated by Clint Eastwood — has won a Grand Effie, the advertising industry’s answer to the Oscar.

“Imported from Detroit was the Grand Effie winner because they sold the product, the category and the city,” said Deborah Sandler, a Grand Effie jury member, following the 44th annual Effie Awards Gala in New York City.

Produced by agency Wieden+Kennedy, Imported from Detroit was declared the Grand Effie winner, the equivalent of best-in-show or, if you prefer, the advertising world’s Best Film.

The winner wasn’t finalized until hours before the event, organizers revealed, Chrysler’s campaign against up against some tough competition that included: Allstate Insurance Company’s Mayhem, Kellogg’s Special K’s What Will You Gain When You Lose?, Troy Public Library’s Book Burning Party, and IKEA’s Moving Day.

Chrysler’s original Imported from Detroit ad, shown during the 2011 Super Bowl, was a standout if, for no other reason, its 2-minute length and its use of rapper Eminem. The 2012 version was equally long but shifted to Clint Eastwood who delivered a gritty rap of his own, so to speak, about American willpower.

Ironically, the second Super Bowl spot triggered sharp rebukes from some critics, including several prominent leaders of the GOP, who felt it promoted the controversial 2009 federal bailout of Chrysler (and cross-town rival General Motors).  Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne later insisted there was no political intent to the campaign.  For their part, members of the Effie jury focused on the effectiveness of Wieden+Kennedy’s efforts.

“The Chrysler work had a depth of effectiveness that stood out from the rest of the Grand Effie Finalists. They gave that brand its soul back,” said another Grand Effie jury member, Jeff Benjamin, CCO, North America, JWT.

As with the Academy Awards, the Effies cover a wide range of categories, and among other automotive winners were Porsche, which took second place in the autos category for its campaign for the seventh-generation 911 sports car.  Chevrolet grabbed third for its “More than Electric” pitch for the Chevy Volt.  Kia was honored in a separate category for its “Slam Dunk” commercial.

 

Other automotive winners at the Effie Awards included Porsche grabbing second place in the automotive category for “How Porsche created new relevance for a revered icon,” and Chevrolet taking third for “Chevy Volt, it’s more than electric.”

Kia also grabbed a third-place honor in the Single Impact Engagement category for its “Not your average slam dunk” commercial.

Beyond the automotive industry, Effie organizers announced “Procter & Gamble is the most effective advertiser in North America, IBM is the most effective brand, WPP is the most effective advertising holding company and Ogilvy & Mather is the most effective advertising agency network. Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office is the most effective individual agency office, while McKinney, based in Durham, North Carolina, is the most effective independently held advertising agency.”

Brands, Not Cars, Key Contends Fiat/Chrysler Exec

Have we heard this song before?

by on Mar.15, 2012

Fiat global brand chief Olivier Francois during the launch of the new 500L.

The idea that a car sells the brand doesn’t apply in the expansive world of Olivier Francois, Chrysler/Fiat’s chief marketing officer.

It’s the brand and its message that ultimately sells the car, Francois told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. A lot of companies use cars to sell the brand but Francois has deliberately reversed the equation.

“The brand had better stand for something,” explained the French-born executive, noting he uses the exact same formula in Europe where he is in charge of the Fiat and Lancia marques.

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Francois also stressed that timing is critical. Chrysler’s celebrated Eminem ad, which was shown during the Super Bowl in February,2011, would not have worked a year earlier because there wasn’t any solid evidence yet of a Chrysler comeback. A year later it would have been considered “old news,” he added.

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Chrysler and Eminem Score Big in Cannes

Super Bowl commercial nabs five major awards at international ad fest.

by on Jun.27, 2011

Chrysler's Eminem ad takes five awards at Cannes.

Chrysler’s widely watched “Born of Fire” Super Bowl commercial was one of the big winners at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France, nabbing five separate awards over the weekend.

The unusual two-minute spot, which featured Detroit-based rapper Eminem, took Four Gold Lions awarded to the brand for Best Direction, Best Script, Best Use of Music, Best Automotive Commercial and Best Editing.  The spot also took a Bronze Lion for Best Editing.

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The spot was something of a coming-out for the long-troubled automaker, which had largely reined in its marketing efforts in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy.  While most advertisers chose to go for 30 second spots on the Super Bowl, arguably the year’s most-watched television event, Chrysler spent an estimated $9 million to $10 million to produce and air a 2-minute commercial that market the debut of its new 200 sedan.

The ad, which featured Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” presented a visual image of a gritty Detroit struggling to re-emerge from years of decline – a metaphor for the Chrysler brand itself.  The tagline, “Imported from Detroit,” has now been adopted for the broader Chrysler line, and the maker has even introduced a line-up of T-shirts and other goods bearing the slogan.

The commercial generated tremendous debate in the days and weeks after the Super Bowl and has since been watched on media websites like YouTube by tens of millions more viewers.

“The Chrysler Brand is humbled to be awarded with such a prestigious honor at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity,” said Olivier Francois, President and CEO of Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC.

As TheDetroitBureau.com reported, earlier this year, Chrysler officials met with Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers – to discuss a possible reprise to his role in the 2-minute ad.  But Francois cautioned that the maker would not run a second spot simply for celebrity value, preferring to focus on brand attributes and products.  So far, no match for Chrysler and Eminem has been found.

But various elements of the long commercial – along with video not used in the original – have been edited together into additional spots and promotional material for the Chrysler brand.

Marty’s Marketing Minutia – It’s All About the Money

March Madness, Tiger Woods, and Sergio Marchionne.

by on Mar.11, 2011

March Madness Has Infiniti & Buick as presenting sponsors

As the regular college basketball season ends, America’s college hoops mania begins, March 13 bringing Selection Sunday, followed on Monday by National Bracket Day, the First Four playing on March 16 & 17 and the Final Four wrapping up on April 2 – 4. All will be covered live and then rebroadcast, replayed, analyzed, reanalyzed for mind numbing hours on a variety of television networks.

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It’s all about the money … naturally.

According to Media Week, CBS signed an 11-year, $6 billion deal for sole broadcast rights to the NCAA tournament. Last year, before that deal had expired, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System formed an alliance that eventually netted them a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA. Beginning this year, tournament games will be shown across four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, the latter three divisions of Time Warner subsidiary TBS.

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New Chrysler Ad Contract to Universal McCann

Still more shake-ups in once staid Detroit ad world likely.

by on Dec.09, 2009

Chrysler is shaking up its ad agency accounts, hoping to do better than the disastrous Day One campaign that followed its sale from Daimler to Cerberus, several years ago.

Chrysler is changing agency accounts, hoping to do better than the failed Day One campaign following its Daimler sale to Cerberus years ago.

Its relationship with BBDO drawing to a close, Chrysler has announced it will turn over its media buying contract to Universal McCann next month.

An across-the-board shake-up, which is leading BBDO to close its offices in Troy, has led Chrysler to split up its nine-figure advertising budget.  McCann, a division of the ad giant Interpublic, is getting just a piece of Chrysler’s advertising and creative business.

Global Hue, an agency based in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, has picked up the business for the Jeep division – which just launched it’s “I Am Jeep” campaign.  Dodge Truck, now known as Ram, has gone to Dallas-based Richards Group.  And Chrysler has even sent some business abroad – borrowing and repackaging an Italian-made spot originally developed for Lancia, a division of Fiat’s new parent, Fiat.

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“As a new company with a brand-driven focus, we are looking for agencies that can deliver unique ideas and solutions to help us better communicate with consumers,” Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s new, Fiat-appointed ad chief, said in a statement. “These changes will allow Chrysler greater efficiencies and flexibility in the use of its media across all four brands and at the retail level.”

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