Monday, February 19, 2018
Business

Chrysler's ad strategy for Dodge Durango mixes cleverness, clowning

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — When you've got the smallest marketing budget of the Detroit Three automakers, you have to take risks to get your TV ads noticed.

That's why Olivier Francois, Chrysler's marketing chief, gambles a lot. He's following successful ads featuring rapper Eminem and movie star Clint Eastwood with a pitch from a fictitious character — egotistical airhead television anchorman Ron Burgundy from the 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

And this time, Francois got the talent to pitch a refurbished version of the Dodge Durango SUV for free. Paramount Pictures, he said, bartered work on the commercials by Will Ferrell, who plays Burgundy, in exchange for the promotion in the ads of an Anchorman sequel that is due out in December.

"We can't compete on the money," said Francois, a Frenchman behind the gritty 2011 Super Bowl image ad for Chrysler with Eminem in his hometown of Detroit, and the followup spot featuring Eastwood talking about America making a comeback.

Chrysler is by far the smallest of the Detroit car companies and has the lowest advertising budget. GM was the second-largest advertiser in the nation, while Ford ranked sixth and Chrysler No. 11, according the trade publication Advertising Age, which uses figures from Kantar Media to estimate spending and rank the top 100 advertisers.

So for Chrysler to compete, it has be creative to multiply the impact of its ads, Francois said. Ferrell, Francois said, was given a free hand to write and produce the ads. Initially he was supposed to make three to six television commercials, but ended up with 70, all featuring Ferrell in a 1970s burgundy suit.

Francois had never heard of Burgundy, a 1970s TV anchorman in San Diego, or the first Anchorman movie. But he was amazed that everyone in a brainstorming session could recite lines from the film.

The campaign, scheduled to appear on TV until the sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues makes its debut around Christmas, is risky. It could alienate those didn't see the first movie or those who didn't like it.

That's a chance that Chrysler is willing to take, to deviate from the standard auto industry ad featuring a car or truck rolling down a highway and a strange voice telling people about the product.

Comments
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is set to announce that the city’s main library will be renamed after former President Barack Obama.The announcement that the facility will be renamed after the nation’s first African-American president has been t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
More than 20 unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting

More than 20 unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting

DUNEDIN –– More than 20 unlicensed contractors offered to perform home repairs the past few days, but they didn’t know Pinellas County deputies waited with handcuffs to arrest them. At 11 a.m., Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce deta...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

TAMPA — The mixed-use rebirth of the old Tampa Armature Works warehouse is proceeding in stages. First up: last month’s debut of the new ballroom, followed closely by the opening of more than a dozen vendors in the Heights Public Market food hall.YEA...
Published: 02/19/18

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Published: 02/18/18
Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Gofundme.com pages proliferated almost as soon as cops took Nikolas Cruz into custody after Wednesday’s 17-death massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Donors must parse the funding pages from the fraudulent.Read More: 17 dead,...
Published: 02/18/18
Suffolk tops off Manor Riverwalk project

Suffolk tops off Manor Riverwalk project

Building contractor Suffolk topped off the north tower of its Manor Riverwalk project on Friday.The luxury rental community will replace the old Tampa Tribune building at 202 S Parker Street. Once complete, the project will include an eight-story wat...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

The Tampa arm of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau S.A. was cautiously optimistic Friday after the Trump administration took a big step toward a policy Gerdau has been vocally advocating for — higher tariffs on imported steel. "We’re hopeful that President...
Published: 02/16/18
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Associated PressNEW YORK — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook’s financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Me...
Published: 02/16/18