Chrysler will market its all-new 200 as a car with "swagger" and "soul" in a new campaign breaking Saturday from The Richards Group, Dallas that focuses not just on the car, but the people who make it.
Two new TV spots will use the Bob Dylan track, "Things Have Changed," and Chrysler's marketing strategy for the 2015 model shows things have certainly changed from the automaker's standpoint.
When Wieden & Kennedy, Portland created its two-minute "Born of Fire" Super Bowl spot to first introduce the 200 sedan in 2011, Chrysler positioned itself as a plucky underdog battling to survive bankruptcy. And it painted struggling Detroit as the soul of the auto world. Now, Chrysler is confidently positioning the 200 as an American-made import killer ready to steal customers from the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion.
"Our core target possibly will end up skewing a little bit male. But we think there's also an opportunity here to appeal to independent-minded women," said Marissa Hunter, head of Ram Truck brand advertising and director of brand advertising for Chrysler Group.
Other consumers targeted by the new campaign: young professionals ("not necessarily millennials," she said); older drivers who might want something "a little smaller" than a SUV or full-size sedan; and young Hispanic families. The 200 is in showrooms now, selling at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $21,700.
The advertising theme of the 200 campaign will be: "Born Makers." The copyline refers to the idea that only the "strong backs" and "callused hands" of American workers in Detroit could produce such a mixture of quality and attitude – compared to better-selling, but more vanilla imports that have all the style of rolling appliances.
The 60-second and 30-second commercials have a similar look and feel to previous Chrysler spots. They show the usual visuals of the Detroit skyline and beauty shots of the sleek new 200 gliding through the gritty streets of Motown. But they also offer a long look at Chrysler's Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant. Once slated for closure, the plant now boasts a new assembly area and fully-robotic body shop. The message: both Chrysler and Detroit are back.
Gravely-voiced Detroit native Kevin Yon (who also voiced "Born of Fire") narrates the commercials while Detroit singer MoZella handles vocals on a remixed version of Dylan's "Things Have Changed."
"From blood, sweat…and gears. All the things that make a Born Maker…made this," says Yon. "A car with swagger. Intelligence. Soul. A car that proves a well-made sedan doesn't have to cross an ocean to be worthy of American driveways. We are Born Makers. We made this."
The spots end with the tagline, "America's Import." That tag succeeded the previous "Imported from Detroit," which Chrysler used for three years.