Ads Don't Mention Mercedes, Just New Warranty

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DETROIT ( -- Chrysler Group is pushing a new warranty program in a campaign that for the first time plays up Chrysler's German ownership.

The first executions for Chrysler Group's Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler brands break today in a trio of 60-second radio spots in 75 top markets. Each spot links Chrysler Group to its German parent, DaimlerChrysler AG. Omnicom Group's BBDO Detroit, Troy, Mich., created the ads.

"We have some fun playing with German-American things that have gone right and formally introducing DaimlerChrysler in the context of our American brands," said George Murphy, senior vice president and global brand marketing at Chrysler Group. "Once you say DaimlerChrysler and you understand the German connection, you understand German technology and it closes the loop."

No mention of Mercedes
None of the ads mention DaimlerChrysler's other auto brand, Mercedes-Benz.

The marketer is spending "more than a couple of million dollars" on the campaign, which continues for 60 days, Mr. Murphy said.

Print arrives Friday in USA Today and will also appear in news weeklies. A trio of 30-second TV spots, one per brand, breaks July 15 on national broadcast and cable networks.

The warranty program is for a seven-year, 70,000 mile warranty; the marketer first offered a seven-year, 100,000 mile deal on select models last fall.

Recent internal consumer research about Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep revealed that warranties and their ads helped improve buyers' awareness and perception of the brands by as much as 30%, said Wolfgang Bernhard, chief operating officer of Chrysler Group.

Chrysler advertised ties to its German parent only once -- in fall 1998, right after the acquisition. But that global, all-print effort was aimed at investors, not consumers.

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