"This is a new letter car, so we need to capitalize on its heritage," said Susan Thomson, national advertising executive for Chrysler and Plymouth, referring to the marketer's so-called "letter-series" performance cars of 1955 to 1965.
OLD INDUSTRIAL FILM
Chrysler uncovered an old industrial film with Bob Rodger, chief engineer on those cars, and many of his comments from snippets of the film appear in three new 30-second spots for the entry-luxury 300M from Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich. Ads break in early June on network and cable TV. Pre-launch, :15 teasers that started April 25 run through late May.
The brand's "Engineered to be great cars" tag ends each spot, preceded by voice-over: "The technology has changed. The soul lives on."
Bozell created an eight-page ad unit for mass-market magazines.
"The 300M is the image icon for the brand worldwide because it embodies so much of Chrysler's heritage and passion for engineering," said Martin Levine, general manager of Chrysler/Plymouth/ Jeep Division.
The car also goes on sale overseas later this year. Key markets include Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Brazil and the Middle East.
In June, the marketer also will launch a national campaign for the '99 Chrysler LHS sedan. That, together with the 300M and the campaign for the 1999 Concorde sedan that started in January, is getting the bulk of the company's ad budget now -- a combined $80 million in measured media this year.
The redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee arrives later this year.
LHS, first introduced as a '94 model, gets a six-page ad unit in more targeted, upscale books, although it will also run in Newsweek and Time.
"LHS isn't an all-new nameplate, but with 300M we needed to create brand awareness, which is why we went out to the masses," Ms. Thomson said.
300M's target age starts at 35, and is about 40% female. LHS is aimed at 45-year-olds and older, and about 30% of buyers are expected to be women.
The three cars will go on the road with the Chrysler Showcase, an evolution of its Plymouth Place shopping mall kiosk and product display program.
Although malls will account for about half the Chrysler brand locations in 64 markets, other venues will be used, including art fairs and film festivals.