Posted Oct 9th 2012 2:15PM
Perhaps no car company has made bigger splashes in the last two years at the Super Bowl than Chrysler, and the automaker's marketing chief, Olivier Francois, said today that he plans to be all over the big game again in February.
Last year, the company made an ad featuring Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. The spot achieved viral status quickly when pundits charged that Eastwood's lines were politically motivated; meant to appeal to progressive voters/viewers favoring a second term for President Obama. In 2011, agency Wieden & Kennedy burst into the game with a now famous commercial featuring Eminem. Both ads have supported Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" marketing platform.
Francois briefed reporters Monday at the Detroit Opera House while he also debuted a new series of ads for the Ram brand.
The new spots for the updated Ram 1500 have a theme of "Heaven and Earth," and speak to the lengths to which Ram will go to win over new buyers (read: Ford and Chevrolet truck owners). The brand, spun off from Dodge three years ago to its own franchise, continues using the deep, manly, seemingly tobacco-choked voice of actor Sam Elliott, who also appears in the ads.
We are going to see a lot of this campaign during the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. "With this truck launch we literally swing for the fences," said Fred Diaz, the head of the Ram division as well as president of Chrysler's Mexican operations. Get it?
Ram has been succeeding by focusing its messaging around the iconic Elliott, as well as making serious upgrades to the 2013 Ram 1500. Ram has also been spending resources targeting the Hispanic audience, whose pickup buying has been on the rise. Ram has seen its share of the light-duty pickup market surge 1.7 points to 17 per cent among Hispanics in test markets. Ram has seen its overall share of the light and heavy pickup segment rise from 14.6 per cent to 18.4 percent for the first nine months of 2012.
Chrysler did more to the mid-cycle refresh for the Ram than is usually done on a vehicle. But under Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler has made increasing share for the Ram a priority. "What started out as a minor freshening," said Diaz, "turned into a major overhaul." The 2013 Ram, which was already the pickup with the best road manners, got a new air suspension, and a new powertrain lineup including a V6 mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission that returns a segment-best 9.4L/100km (25 mpg) on the highway; giving Ram bragging rights on fuel economy.
Have a look at these four of the new Ram commercials, where you'll also find the official press release.