Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dodge Challenger Pokes Fun at Jerry Seinfeld's European Carry-All

In an attempt to add some macho to the brand that brings us the Caliber and Avenger comes a new ad called “Man Bag” promoting the Dodge Challenger, created by Wieden & Kennedy, the agency that recently won the Dodge business from BBDO. The ad features one of my favorite TV show characters the actor Michael C. Hall who plays the lead on Showtime’s Dexter series (he also played the gay son on HBO’s “Six Feet Under”.)

So what about the ad’s name: “Man Bag”. Well at least someone has a sense of humor. I know it’s supposed to mock the femininity of the metro sexual male, but that seems like something that was more topical in 2008 than 2010. Plus the double entendre of the ad’s title is a bit ridiculous; though, not as ridiculous as W+K’s LaDainian Tomlinson Electric Glide for Nike.

So why this approach?

It is definitely on target for the Dodge Challenger consumer, assuming product research showed tough, rugged guys mocking girly-men is where it’s at for
an American muscle car crowd. A safe assumption I’m sure. It will probably resonate, but the lack of any cool imagery or a more confrontational, humorous storyline instead of just a voice-over might have helped the concept.

Also the voice-over choice fits what Ad Age reported today, that the “new tone and feel seems to be about trying to cast the automaker as a brand associated with celebrities and social causes (two things said to be a passion of Olivier Francois, Chrysler brand's president-CEO).”

If this is a precursor to the coming Super Bowl ad from Dodge, don’t bother. It’s just too forgettable to have any change in brand perception or product consideration.

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