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New Chrysler commercials focus on brand identity

From Automotive News| May 08,2007

Chrysler takes to the airwaves Tuesday evening with new television spots designed to clear up confusion about what the brand stands for. The commercials will appear on series including ABC's Boston Legal and Grey's Anatomy.

The themeline of the spots, "Engineered Beautifully," replaces "Inspiration Comes Standard," which had run since April 2004.

"The old campaign didn't resonate with consumers," said George Murphy, vice president of global marketing.

Murphy said Chrysler brand has been "a little schizophrenic," perhaps better known to consumers as a "collection of nameplates" than as a brand that embodied certain qualities.

The new campaign, created by Chrysler agency BBDO Detroit, will launch on several TV programs featuring a spot that shows four vehicles together in an effort to convey a unified message -- "The Way Our Vehicles Come Together is What Sets Us Apart."

A 60-second commercial called "Technology Throughout," debuting Tuesday, will feature the Chrysler 300, the Aspen SUV, the Sebring Convertible and the 2008 Chrysler Town and Country, which doesn't arrive in dealerships until the end of the summer.

The spot showcases technologies such as MDS (Multi Displacement System), ESP and the MyGIG hard drive, an entertainment system in the new Sebring. The minivan footage showcases Chrysler's Swivel 'n Go seating system that allows the second row of seats to be turned to face the rear of the vehicle.

The commercials are conceived to show Chrysler's style, design, engineering and technology. Chrysler research showed that customers were aware of Chrysler's reputation for trend-setting design, but less aware of its technology and features.

Chrysler will even call founder Walter P. Chrysler into service by using one of his quotes to define the brand: "I gave you quality, beauty, speed, comfort, style and power, all at a low price."

The campaign also will encompass magazines, newspaper, radio and the Internet. A Yahoo home-page posting on the new Sebring Convertible received 300,000 clicks on Wednesday, May 2.

Dave Rooney, director of Chrysler marketing and global communications, said research shows that Chrysler's actual quality is ahead of consumers' perceptions. This campaign will help to bridge that gap.

Chrysler has been a problem brand for the company that bears its name. Chrysler has recently led the industry in sales to fleets, usually a sign of poor brand health.

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