Friday, January 1, 2010

Chrysler's New Brand Campaign Looks Back Not Forward

Chrysler launched a new brand campaign called “Coming Home” that will be featured across several College Bowl games January 1-4. The campaign is “in response to requests from Chrysler Group dealers and research conducted which found that consumers do not realize that Chrysler Group has emerged from bankruptcy and is now a different company with a new alliance partner and a healthy product plan.“

The first ad features a driver carrying a leather bag in a full range of Chrysler products through different times in history ending with the 2010 Chrysler 300 sedan. It shows no future products and is a nod to the fine products Chrysler has built in its long history. It also marks the first ad from Chrysler’s new agency Fallon.

There are two dominant approaches to brand campaigns: focus on the nostalgia of the past or go forward thinking by focusing on the future. Chrysler chose the former, which is interesting considering how survival – its biggest issue in the media and consumer minds -- has more to do with the future of the brand. Talking about great products built decades ago to recent cars with no glimpse to future product is a miss.

At minimum, Chrysler could’ve brought the coming Jeep Grand Cherokee or Fiat 500; though, the 500 may not be sold by Chrysler dealers so that's why it may not have shown up. To be forward thinking, the whole concept would have had to change or at least end with a progressive message instead of the stale “Coming Home” line.

The good news is it's at least not talking about releasing political prisoners which was way out of left field.


Unknown said...

Nice nostaligic piece. But I think it only speaks to Chrysler fans. And that is not going to move Chrysler forward.

Dan Bedore
-Full disclosure: I work for Hyundai

Unknown said...

Like a lot of these efforts it's the brand talking to itself and the already convinced.

Anonymous said...

Agree. My bigger vibe was that it was selling me on American Heritage as much as brand heritage. That would’ve been okay back in the day when “other” things on the brand weren’t broken, but no longer.