Monday, February 4, 2008

Chrysler Launches On Super Bowl. Okay ... Near Super Bowl

by Karl Greenberg, Monday, Feb 4, 2008 5:00 AM ET
CHRYSLER LAUNCHED A NEW CORPORATE ad campaign during the Super Bowl. No, the Auburn Hills, Mich. automaker wasn't wrestling with Audi, GMC, Hyundai or Ford (a pre-game advertiser) via a $2.7 million spend for half a minute on Fox's broadcast. Instead, the company did a stealth media buy in 55 local partial- or full-affiliate Fox markets via the Chrysler Dealer Advertising Association.

To be honest, the media strategy isn't all about getting into the game without 50-yard-line prices, because most of the ads, focused on enhancements to products like Dodge Charger or Chrysler Sebring, are aimed at driving dealer traffic. The eight product-specific ads using the tag "New Day Celebration" highlight 12 vehicle "value packages" available starting this month.

The push is also Chrysler's first effort touting all three of its divisional brands in recent years.

An animated spot that bowed on Sunday, "Listen to You," hints at the program. It features a young boy who creates the perfect car company by listening to consumers. The spot drives consumers to That theme is continued in the eight product-specific ads.

"Our [first-quarter] media strategy is high impact," says John Plecha, head of Jeep marketing global communications. "Rather than pure broad reach with a ton of money on the Super Bowl, we wanted to go with high-impact events." The company will also run the campaign during local and national coverage of Super Tuesday, the Daytona 500 and the Academy Awards. "We will be doing a lot of activity around these events; a lot of it will be online," he says.

For the Super Bowl, for example, Chrysler had branding and product ads on third-party sites carrying game and player stats. The online ad buy for the effort includes AOL, Yahoo, MSN and Google.

On Super Tuesday, Chrysler will advertise on NBC's Meet the Press, the network's Nightly News special, including February-long sponsorship of new Nightly News Online. The effort will also run on MSNBC's "Morning Joe on the Road" and local news programming emphasizing the 22 Presidential-primary states.

Plecha says the company has not determined whether to continue the "New Day" effort beyond the first quarter. "We will be rolling out the rest of the messaging through March; it's a good moniker for messages we are trying to get across."

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