Chrysler Takes on the World With Ads for 200

Campaign Recasts Car as America's Import (Rather than Detroit's)

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The Chrysler brand is expanding the evolution of its "Imported from Detroit" theme with four TV commercials touting the 2015 Chrysler 200.

Each of the spots, called "Ready to take on the world," features a sleek, silver sedan driving on roads in what appears to be Germany, Japan or Sweden.

Actually, the roads are in Detroit, San Francisco or Seattle, and the car is the 200.

Narrators speak in German to tout the car's engineering, in Japanese to tout its reliability or in Swedish to tout its safety, all with English subtitles. Each narrator expresses incredulity that the car is built in the United States.

The commercials, created by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., made their debut Sunday during National Football League broadcasts. Wieden & Kennedy also created the award-winning "Born of Fire" Super Bowl spot in 2011 that featured rapper Eminem and the previous-generation 200.

That commercial introduced the gritty "Imported from Detroit" tag line that Chrysler used in 2012 and 2013.

Chrysler redesigned the 200 for the 2015 model year, putting it on a Fiat-derived platform and giving it a number of segment-exclusive features, such as a nine-speed transmission and rotary-dial shifter.

Brand strategists also recast the car as "America's Import," stepping slightly away from "Imported from Detroit."

Chrysler Group also has been showcasing the 200's high-tech assembly plant in suburban Detroit and the $1 billion that the company spent to refurbish the factory. The automaker shot a video showing how a 200 is assembled largely by robots for better quality.

Chrysler also launched a plant tour online, with 360-degree interactive views of the inside of Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and videos showing different work stations. The tour, which also was created by Wieden & Kennedy, is at chrysler200factory.com.

Since arriving in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter, the redesigned Chrysler 200's sales have climbed each month.

Most of the previous-generation 200s were sold by midsummer, and sales of the redesigned sedan topped 10,000 in August and in September.

--Larry P. Vellequette is a reporter for Automotive News

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