The first salvo in Chrysler’s 2003 initiative to appeal to younger, more upscale viewers was this black-and-white spot featuring French-Cadian chanteuse Celine Dion at the wheel of a Crossfire while belting out “I Drove All Night.” But it didn't resonate with hip, young car buyers and tanked on the USA Today Ad Meter.
“Celine Dion personifies the Chrysler brand," said a very senior marketing executive by way of announcing the $10 million to $14 million pact with Dion back in November 2002, or six months before he abruptly left the company. "This is the kind of branded harmony you dream about."
By year’s end, Chrysler would effectively terminate its arrangement with Dion. A mere 4,021 Crossfires rolled off the lot during the brand's inaugural year, and Chrysler discontinued it 2008. All of this could have been avoided if Chrysler had heeded the advice of BBDO Detroit, which in no uncertain terms had advised against the marketing alliance. Instead Chrysler pushed forward, and ads in the campaign were ultimately created by BBDO sibling Arnell Group.
Years later, Chrysler would again use celebrities in the Super Bowl, but found picks that seemed to resonate better: Eminem in 2011 ("Born of Fire") and Clint Eastwood in 2012 ("Halftime in America").
This is the minute-long cut of the 30-second spot that ran in Super Bowl XXXVII.
AGENCY: Arnell Group