Though it has been the company's star-laden Super Bowl commercials starring Eminem and Clint Eastwood that have garnered the most buzz for Chrysler and its ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, the principals agree that it was a far earlier spot that has made the biggest impact thus far.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and John Jay, Global Executive Creative Director for Wieden + Kennedy, agreed recently that it was the commercial for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee that has had the most significant impact for Chrysler in the post-bailout era.
The Grand Cherokee, you'll remember, was the first product introduced by the Chrysler Group coming out of bankruptcy, and was therefore poised to make a big impression – good or bad – on the American public. The Jeep commercial then needed to hammer home the notion of a quality, American-made product, while also laying the groundwork for the Imported from Detroit commercials (of Super Bowl fame) that were still to come. Marchionne called the Jeep commercial "a turning point" and said that it was still being tweaked, right down to the very end.
Watching the spot today (scroll down to have a look), it is easier to see it as a successful foundational piece of the messaging that we're getting from Chrysler today.