• May 12th 2009 at 10:27AM
  • 58
Chrysler is nearly two weeks into its bankruptcy, and the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker is already getting an idea of just how engaged the Obama administration plans to be in the process. Chrysler planned to spend $134 million dollars on advertising during its supposed nine weeks of bankruptcy, but the Auto Task Force has reportedly cut the figure in half. Judge Arthur Gonzalez wasn't even sure 50% spending was necessary, saying "idle plants, why market?" But the Task Force apparently says it recognizes that marketing is necessary during the bankruptcy to prevent the further erosion of the already battered Chrysler brand image.

Chrysler Marketing and Sales Vice President Steven Landry defended the decision to spend on advertising during the bankruptcy saying that the move "gives us the opportunity to reinforce that it's business as usual and demonstrate a bright future ahead for Chrysler." One commenter on Advertising Age took "business as usual" as a bad thing, as that mentality lead to "cars no one wanted to buy, zero innovation, outdated labor practices and a lot of taxpayer money thrown in to keep a sinking ship from going under."

Auto research site Edmunds.com told AdAge that the campaign appeared to be working for the first five days, saying interest on its consumer auto search site jumped by 15%. Interest in Chrysler vehicles dropped back to pre-bankruptcy levels after that, though. One dealer told AdAge that the only added interest appears to be from would-be buyers trying to "low ball" to see if dealers will take next to nothing just to liquify assets.

Chrysler's ad campaign during Chapter 11 consists of two corporate branding spots that touts Chrysler's wares and explains the Fiat situation. The other three spots are product ads for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town & Country.

[Source: Advertising Age]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Is Chrysler still in business? I don't see ads from them anymore."

      - consumers

      Epic fail!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "... Business as usual..." Why?
      If the passed business model (design angle, brand identity, business practice...etc) didn't work. Why then continue as business as usual?
      Look around, see which car company is successful, mirror that.
      To be "business as usual" is to be arrogant
        • 6 Years Ago
        "If the passed business model (design angle, brand identity, business practice...etc) didn't work. Why then continue as business as usual?"

        You misunderstanding what they mean by that phrase. What they mean is that they are still in business, still selling cars, and still honoring warranties. Obviously not that they will continue doing what got them into trouble. Two of the top three guys will be gone and the company will be part of FIAT when this is over. So it's not that kind of "business as usual".

        "Look around, see which car company is successful, mirror that."
        Keep looking, because in the North American market, NO car company is successful.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The advertising budget was slashed in half....that means Chrysler STILL has an advertising budget, its just smaller. Plenty of ways to advertise on a smaller budget. So there's no need to be yelling Socialism or ranting about Obama.

      Probably didn't cross any of your minds of what Chrysler's Ad budget was before it was slashed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not the President giving these orders, it's his task force. Normally I don't like government interference into business. In this case though, the Chrysler people ran themselves into the ditch. They're taking tax money from both the American and Canadian governments, and not little bits of money.

      Since these executives couldn't run the place, it's hard for me to object to someone else having some control, especially if it's the bankruptcy judge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      doesnt make sense to cut advertising if your trying to make sales. Seems as if they want them to fail anyways..buy em up...and collect them all!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a big Obama fan but I don't think that just because the government (us taxpayers) bailed Chrysler out doesn't mean they have to micromanage them. I mean, it's not like the government is micromanaging the banks which they (we) also bailed out.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Thats about all I have to say that has not been said by others. I am very much in favor of small government. Obama is doing his best to make the government as big as possible. Spend Spend Spend, and try to take control of as many things as possible.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Obama is really "the enemy of the USA" - our society has been successful due to our commitment to the "free enterprise/capitalism/merit/facilitating new businesses/government working for the people & a clear separation between private industry & government". Never, in a million years, does the executive branch have the power to "dictate" any terms to how the private sector works. With Chrysler now in bankruptcy, it does permit the appointed court Judges to participate in their reorganization which would include $$ for advertising. Obama still has no voice, nor does any member of his cabinet! He's acting as a DICTATOR! (so its not socialism). We're also so screwed up with TARP where the Government has no process to enable the banks that took funds to deliver them back (thought it was with some interest as an incentive to have these Banks "fix" their liquidity issues quickly. Just like the States that refused $$ "stimulus money from the Federal money & we saw how angry Obama was. Frankly, he's on a course of soon getting a constitutional amendment in progress that will enable him to become President for Life!
      While I realize I'm much more involved in political science than most, I'm advising we all need to take action to protect our basic freedoms! The upcoming healthcare exercise will be another "forced" program; soon, once we become unhealthy, health care will not be available & the notion of "living comfortably into our old age" will also just disappear. Please be"frightened"! Learn the names of your Congressional Delegation & take 5-10 minutes to setup an e-mail pat so you can send them your recommendations and concerns - like once/week or when you find anything bothering you.
      The Republic is in danger! And, Obama is showing just how much damage can be done by a left-wing liberal in just one year, specially with Congress a non-balancing entity. This is not about Democrats & Republicans - its about our living in a free society with a constitution as its currently defined. The short term stock market recovery, while nice to see, does not mean we're on the path to "growth"; I'm certain the markets will continue to be volatile & test the 6.5-6.0 Dow bottome we witnessed only a few months ago.......unemployment too high & growing! no way can the economy show any real growth in 2009!
      Yes, I'm very concerned - mostly since it seems Obama's personal popularity is letting him get a free pass as our US falters so dramatically in a downward spiral.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just shows that the "Tweed Suits" are now really running the country. Welcome to Amerika everyone. More of this to come.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I understand peoples frustration with this announcement.

      First off, who in the administration, or the ATF, has EVER run a successful business???

      Second, what worries me the most, is that this judge (puppet), actually thought that they didn't need ANY merchandising budget at all. This is truly scary, as it tells the story that he, and the ATF, don't have one clue about how the auto industry runs (I know, big surprise).

      Finally, when you are the top dog (Obama), and your administration does something, you get the credit, or the blame. That is how it works. It worked that way with the Bush administration.............. and guess what, it works for "the one" also. You don't get to pick and choose what segments of your leadership, that you will take credit for.

      Frankly, this all scares me. Anyone who thinks that this administration is just getting them out of BK, and then will bow out.............. well, I have some real nice ocean front property to sell you.............. in Yuma AZ. Just look at the banks that are trying to give back TARP money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are any liberals still saying Obama isn't a socialist? lol

      Here is the danger for GM and chrysler. I will NEVER buy a car from a company who is partly owned by the U.S. government. Soooo, that leaves Ford and all the foreign makes.

      Think about that Obama. Your killing America, one company at a time. Which makes sense, half your cabinet is Bilderbergs - the same people who created the European Union - i.e. Fiat, Magnus, etc.

      Proof: White House today ADMITS stimulus will create NO jobs until 2010.

        • 6 Years Ago
        You won't buy a car from an American Socialist company, but will buy a car from a Foreign Socialist company.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First, you need to go to school and learn what Socialism is.

        Second, turn off the wingnut radio. The crazy is seeping out of your eyes.

        • 6 Years Ago
        "Proof: White House today ADMITS stimulus will create NO jobs until 2010"

        There goes another American who gets all fussy and grumpy because he wasn`t instantly gratified, kinda how this "right" to instant gratification created the credit mess in the first place.

        Can`t afford?
        CREDIT NOW!
        No Credit available?
        Someone trying to help the situation?
        HE`S A SOCIALIST!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are an absolute idiot.
        I bet you do not even know what socialism is, just repeat the words like a talking monkey.
        When Bush was spending billions a day on a fake war, which is what actually tanked this economy, people like you had no problem with this.
        The majority of my family lives in Canada and live in big houses and drive expensive cars have never called me and asked my to come over and treat them because they could not get proper medical care, and the roads in Canada are fantastic also.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "turn off the wingnut radio. "

        Sorry, many of us don't like your brand of "news" i.e. MSNBC, CNN, ect...

        You need to turn off the Obama worship channels and get back to reality once in a while.

        • 6 Years Ago
        "When Bush was spending billions a day on a fake war..."

        Fake war? You mean like the movie "Wagging the Dog" where all the fighting and casualties are simulated? I'll have to tell that to my neighbor, he just got back from Iraq.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I only got two pages into the comments before it hit me... despite all of the so-called "socialism" banter - seriously people, stop listening to the media, this isn't socialism even in its mildest form - and whatnot, not one comment that they still have a lot of money to advertise; they just need to advertise better.

      All of the digital means to get to the computer savvy types is a lot more worthy than blind placement in some magazines or newspapers - both of which are also going out of business in record numbers too.

      Use new media methods to advertise - and I don't mean popups either. Use the money better, adapt. Instead of stating that the government needs to "get out of it"... why the hell did Chrysler need the government to get involved?

      The auto industry in the US is old hat. Time to adapt. Or perish.
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