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While admitting to having helped launch a few turkeys over the years, Martin Levine looked back to make the Chrysler 300M a marketing/sales star.

Mr. Levine, Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep marketing VP, has gone back to the early '60s to come up with a campaign for the late '90s. And it's working. The car has met the first-year sales goal of 60,000 units and would have exceeded that if not for production constraints.

"We still don't know how high 'high' is," Mr. Levine says.

Sales, obviously, are important to the corporate bottom line. But the biggest success of the 300M may be in helping redefine the Chrysler brand.

"It's an image car," says Mr. Levine.

To reach the mostly male target audience, Chrysler and agency Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., looked back to its 300 series, built from 1955-65. The first TV spots for the 300M are built around footage shot in 1961 on a Florida beach and featuring then Chief Engineer of Chrysler Bob Rodger.

"Near-term purchase intent has been increasing every month since we launched it," says Mr. Levine. "It has got the best 'first choice preference' of any car

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