New Rules: Dodge Set For Dart Debut During All-Star Game
The all-new compact car faces a tough road ahead
But this commercial doesn't show the grittiness of the Detroit seen last year during the Super Bowl or even the heart-felt stories surrounding families who own Jeeps, no this one dives into the complexity, and some times, ridiculousness of the auto industry.
"How to change cars forever" is the first television spot announcing the coming of the new Dart, which has started rolling into dealerships right now. Complete with the "New Rules" tagline for the campaign, Dodge hopes to lure older customers who remember the nameplate and younger customers who have never heard of it. The stakes could never be higher.
"We are under a lot of pressure with this campaign," said Olivier Francois, marketing head for Chrysler Group LLC.. "The Dart is the first baby from the Chrysler-Fiat alliance."
Furthermore, Francois told AOL Autos that people's expectations from Chrysler have continued to grow since the launch of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
"Since 2010 we have had some successes with our advertising," he said. "We are feeling some pressure with this, and we have to live up to our own expectations."
With each campaign, Chrysler has adopted a long debut commercial to capture a theme behind a vehicle or a brand. From there, shorter variations are shown in 60- and 30-second spots. Then, the full campaign kicks off, utilizing a number of commercials for television as well as online and print publications and more specific details about the vehicles. This campaign will follow a similar path with the "New Rules" complete launch arriving in September.
However, it will also take on a more humorous approach than some of the previous ads, something Francois said, was important to reach that valuable younger audience. The first spot to air tonight includes a fast-paced look at how many hoops a group must jump through just to build a car. It's a rapid fire course in all of the people involved in making a new vehicle.
"We want to be entertaining, we want to be informative," Francois said.
Most of all, Francois said, Chrysler wants to reach new customers, which the Dart will do, he said.
After the lackluster performance of the compact Dodge Caliber, the new Dart, which is built on an Alfa Romeo platform, is a significantly improved vehicle, able to compete with the likes of the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze. Of course, then there are the top two stalwarts of the compact car segment: The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
But it can only compete if people know about it and head to a Dodge showroom.
"The Dart is critically important, not only as the first Chrysler-Fiat offspring, but because it fills a gaping hole in Chrysler's line that has been vacant since the demise of the Dodge Neon in the 2005 model year," said senior analyst Michelle Krebs with Edmunds.com. With roller-coaster gas prices, the compact car segment has been growing in volume and becoming crowded with solid new players."
Currently on Edmunds, only 2.2 percent of shoppers are checking out the Dart, Krebs said, adding that was "far behind its key rivals."
Of course, until now, there has only been media stories about the Dart to propel interest and no advertising.
Meanwhile, volatile gas prices will force consumers to keep an eye out for a good compact. Small cars sales have grown 18 percent this year, compared to last year, according to AutoData Corp, making it the second fastest growing segment in the United States.
Now check out the ad for yourself and see if it might you want to learn more.
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