CHRYSLER OFFERS PEEK AT PT CRUISER IN NEW-MODEL ADS: DAIMLERCHRYSLER ALSO BREAKS NEW CAMPAIGNS FOR JEEP, PLYMOUTH

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Chrysler will begin showing its category-breaking PT Cruiser, not due in showrooms until May, in new model-year 2000 brand advertising.

DaimlerChrysler began breaking new TV spots over the weekend for its Chrysler, Jeep and Plymouth brands, all work from FCB Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., a former office of Bozell.

The budget wasn't disclosed, but spending for the three brands totaled $637.1 million in 1998. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was the most advertised vehicle in the U.S. last year, at $136.4 million.

NEW SEGMENT

The PT Cruiser, which combines retro sedanlike styling with minivan functions, will retail for under $20,000 and is meant to create its own segment of the auto market. Chrysler is showing it in the "Soul" spot-portraying Chrysler vehicles as evolving from the same soul-that broke over the weekend on ABC college football coverage.

The Chrysler brand will have 13 TV spots; print will include a 16-page insert in Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Newsweek, Style, Time and USA Today.

Chrysler will continue the tagline "Engineered to be great cars," emphasizing expressive design, interior refinements and a passion for driving, a Chrysler spokesman said.

9 NEW JEEP SPOTS

Jeep will run nine new TV spots, led by "Hand," which also debuted Saturday on ABC college football. The spot shows the Jeep Wrangler's capabilities without voice-over, as did Jeep's earlier award-winning "Snow" spot, which showed a vehicle burrowing under snow.

"It's kind of a similar approach," said a Jeep spokesman. "It communicates without saying anything."

The tagline "Jeep, there's only one" continues. Several recent ads will still run.

SHOWCASE GOAL

"Our goal with the 2000 model-year advertising is to showcase Jeep products as authentic, capable and distinctive," the spokesman said.

"The Jeep ads have attitude and use humor to convey our key product messages."

Print ads for the overall Jeep brand, rather than specific models, will follow next week in a wide range of magazines.

Plymouth TV spots will break Sept. 15 regionally, stressing price and standard features.

"Rock climber" emphasizes the active lifestyle of Plymouth owners, showing a woman rock climber who is a Neon owner; other ads stressing value are set on

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