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Advertising Age readers had many opinions on whether or not former Chairman Lee Iacocca is the right pitchman for DaimlerChrysler at this time. Earlier this month, Chrysler introduced ads starring former "Seinfeld" actor Jason Alexander and Mr. Iacocca to introduce a competitive deal to General Motors Corp.'s employee discount. "Plotting a comeback at Chrysler," (AA, July 11), AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq72s. Mr. Iacocca is famous for his 1980s Chrysler ads where he told viewers, "If you can find a better car, buy it." Below are some of the many responses to last week's poll. (For more, see story, P. 33 and AdReview, P. 37.)

Iacocca's image is too old

The issue is not whether baby boomers (of which I am one) will remember Iacocca. The issue is that for the "other half" of the consumer target-i.e., younger buyers-Iacocca will, at best, be irrelevant, but at worst-and more likely-impart an older imagery when the objective is to get more youthful.

Vincent Murphy

VP-marketing procurement


Norwalk, Conn.

Trivial Pursuit players will appreciate ads

If Lee doesn't work, they can go even further back to Joe Garagiola. Or exhume Bob "Chrysler Imperial" Hope. But the spot with Lee is flattering to TV viewers with Trivial Pursuit memories.

Tom Messner



New York

Using old icon can undo branding progress

Chrysler's focus on the "deal" in its latest ads is risky, especially since it is using such an old icon. Chrysler is now a far different company, stronger brand image in many ways. There's a high risk of undoing years of strong, painful branding progress.

Dave Nichols


Thought Equity


Iacocca is a step backward

These guys might be a good choice if the brand was truly lost-but given the momentum they are starting to build with distinct products like the Magnum and 300, it seems like they are taking three steps backward just as they starting moving forward!

Nancy Giordano

Senior VP-director, DaileyLAB

Dailey & Associates

West Hollywood, Calif.

Iacocca beats the DVR

Because Iacocca is teamed up with Jason Alexander, the spot is reminiscent of Alexander's sitcom encounters with "The Boss" when his character, George, worked for the Yankees. ... Initially the viewer is tricked into thinking that the spot is a scene from "Seinfeld." Then when you see Iacocca, BAM, they got you. In the era of DVR ad skipping, this spot beats the system.

Martin Amadio

Exec VP

Automated Media Services

New York

Iacocca won't help with younger buyers

If Chrysler is targeting younger buyers then it's doubtful Iacocca appeals to them. And younger buyers won't "get it" because they weren't around for the first generation of Chrysler commercials. While I have much respect for Iaccoca and enjoy the commercials, as I'm sure others in my age-range do, I don't think he's the right spokesman for the target Chrysler is trying to reach.

James A. Michelson


SMZ Advertising

Troy, Mich.

Iacocca works, creative doesn't

Lee Iacocca as pitchman for Chrysler is a good move. However, the creative is a lame and weak effort. Iacocca should be used in a more direct fashion without the contrast to Jason Alexander's stooge character. That's not smart when attempting to catch boomers' business.

Joe Lamachia

Principal-creative director

Classic Communications

New York

If Chrysler doesn't deliver, people won't buy

Consumers are more aware of market conditions these days. As long as Chrysler doesn't deliver quality and innovations, people will not buy their cars, period.

Bayardo Hernandez

Account Executive

TV Azteca

Glendale, Calif.

At least Iacocca ads get people talking

When I first heard of the planned commercial I was a bit skeptical. But after seeing it, I feel that it works. Obviously Chrysler had to quickly respond to GM's successful strategy and while clearly copying its competitor's program, at least it differentiated itself somewhat by using a clever catch in ads, which has people talking as evidenced by this dialogue.

Mike Harmon


Minnesota Vikings

Eden Prairie, Minn.

Execution of Iacocca ads is really the problem

Lee Iacocca is an excellent idea, but the execution is flawed. It needs a tie-in to the early commercials to show who this man is and why his opinion is important. Even the tagline in the current execution is basically a throwaway. I wish they had exploited this really significant return of a mighty former spokesman rather than just sat him behind a desk, reading a paper.

Dick Eppstein


Better Business Bureau

Toledo, Ohio

Use Iacocca sparingly or effect will be negated

The senior management of most corporations and most of the creative, marketing and media buying people are youth-obsessed. Lee Iacocca was the Donald Trump of his day and no one exposed to TV when he was in commercials has forgotten him, regardless of their age. He may not be top of mind if you ask the question, but certainly his appearance will engender warm and happy thoughts. So much about buying a car is emotional, and bringing him back is a great idea. Just don't keep him around too long or the impact will be lessened.

RitaSue Siegel


RitaSue Siegel Resources

New York

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