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.
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.
The Chrysler side of FCA broke tradition when it launched its first long-form Super Bowl commercial in February 2014, a two-minute spot for the Chrysler 200 featuring rapper Eminem. This year, the Chrysler brand’s two-minute “America’s Import,” featured music legend Bob Dylan who not only appeared in the commercial but provided its audio track, “Things Have Changed.”
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The commercial featured gritty, industrial imagery from Detroit, including footage of FCA’s renovated Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. As with the original Eminem spot, the new version of the Chrysler 200 sedan was almost secondary to the broader message.
Meanwhile, the Dodge brand, which has been around for more than 100 years, has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the “World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” in the magazine’s annual Most Innovative Companies issue.
Fast Company’s annual Most Innovative Companies issue honors some of the usual suspects, such as Google, Amazon, Airbnb and Nike, along with such rising newcomers as GoPro, GoldieBlox, and FitBit.
The magazine said it chose Dodge “for being part of the conversation, no matter what,” as exemplified by many brand initiatives that delivered results, including its recent Dodge Durango advertising campaign featuring Ron Burgundy (Will Farrell), the fictional character in Paramount Picture’s “Anchorman” movie franchise. The ads helped lift Durango sales 59 percent in October 2013.
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Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. said in an industry “that is getting more and more commoditized we capture this brand attitude and swagger in our marketing recipe to spark conversation and consideration.”
Fast Company also saluted Dodge for product placements and partnerships, reaching “nearly every type of driver,” that resulted in “people taking notice.” Dodge brand sales were up 14 percent in 2013.
Other brand initiatives last year included partnering with Universal Pictures on the “Fast & Furious 6” movie, the SyFy channel for its “Defiance” TV series, and a partnership with international music superstar Pitbull for Dodge Dart ads targeting multicultural millennial consumers.
“How exciting to be recognized by Fast Company, an innovator and leader in its own right, and to be among such a prestigious group of world-renown companies,” Francois said. “The campaigns and partnerships we create for each of our brands are as individual and different as the brands themselves.