Friday, December 4, 2009

Fallon to the Rescue, Stat!

It's already been called the "worst car ad ever" by Jalopnik's Ray Wert. Auto Extremist Peter De Lorenzo is quoted in Ad Age saying it is "patently absurd." Chrysler was forced to make a public statement it didn't hire an Italian ad agency the day the new ad was launched.

I don't even know what to say. I can only hope Chrysler gets things straightened out and starts to realize you can't change a somewhat premium brand into a highfalutin snob brand with one cause marketing effort. Mercedes didn't become Mercedes overnight.

Also, don't even get me started on how they turned the homepage of their shopping site into a giant TV commercial with the ad as the main image taking over the main body of It's just shocking and not good shocking.

The strangest thing is that the ad is a rehashed version of the same idea (and in some cases same images) as this Lancia spot that ran last year. I've heard of platform sharing across brands from a manufacturing benefit, but never as a cost saving technique for marketing.

On the very same day the ad started running on television, Chrysler announced it has selected Publicis Groupe's Fallon agency to handle the creative work previously led by BBDO. One can only hope that Chrysler gets some better marketing direction with Fallon. I'm not sure Lancia has enough good advertising to recycle to make the brand desirable again; though, I do really like this print advertisement from Lancia:

So Fallon you have your work cutout for you. I really wish you the best of luck as a lot of us want to see Chrysler succeed. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to believe success is in the brand's future.

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