"Ask Dr. Z" national ad campaign for Chrysler starts tomorrow

Along with the announcement of its summer sales incentives today, Chrysler also unveiled its "Ask Dr. Z" national ad campaign that features the company's Chairman, Dieter Zetsche, as the spokesperson. The ads mark the first time DaimlerChrysler will be communicating what it believes are the benefits of the merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler that formed it. That means highlighting the level of both American and German engineering and design in each Chrysler product.

While we think it's fair to say the press knows Dr. Zetsche is a likeable guy, it's unclear how the Chairman's handlebar mustache and German accent will play in Peoria. We'll find out soon enough, as the campaign kicks off tomorrow with 60- and 30-second "tri-brand" commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, internet advertising, and a www.AskDrZ.com url that will be plastered on the hood and side of Dodge Charger NASCAR race cars in the coming weeks.

A full press release can be found after the jump...

[Source: Chrysler]

Unprecedented New Chrysler Group Corporate Ad Campaign Focuses on Consumer Benefits of Best of American and German Engineering and Design
  • Unique DaimlerChrysler heritage sets company apart from its competitors
  • DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche is spokesperson of "Ask Dr. Z" campaign
  • Ads kick off Employee Pricing Plus sales event, including 30-day Return Program
  • Go to www.AskDrZ.com to ask questions about Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicle benefits
Auburn Hills, Mich., Jun 30, 2006  -
For the first time since the merger of the former Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation, Chrysler Group is communicating the consumer benefits of the best of American and German engineering and design built into every Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicle in a new corporate ad campaign.

Chrysler Group revealed its unprecedented campaign today and introduced its new spokesperson, DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. The multifaceted "Ask Dr. Z" campaign launches July 1 and focuses on the innovative design, quality, reliability, performance and fuel economy of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles today.

The campaign launch coincides with the beginning of an Employee Pricing Plus summer sales program. Also unprecedented, the program includes employee pricing for all customers plus zero percent financing for 36 months on most models when financed through Chrysler Financial plus the option to return the vehicle within 30 days if not satisfied. Or, in lieu of special financing, customers may choose to receive employee pricing, cash back up to $3,500 and the 30-day Return Program.

"We wanted to communicate in a memorable way how our unique heritage sets us apart from our competitors and provides real benefits to our customers," said Tom LaSorda, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group.

"Dieter is the ideal spokesperson for the company we are now. He put us on the path to be competitive with the best in the world by combining the great strengths of two historic companies to benefit our customers."

The "Ask Dr. Z" campaign includes television, radio, print, online, in-dealership and customer relationship marketing media components and guerilla marketing tactics (mobile billboards, aerial banners, street teams), as well as targeting the NASCAR fan community.

The campaign begins July 1 with 60-second and 30-second tri-brand television spots that will air on network and cable television, including primetime, late night, news and sports programming. A minivan spot and four ads – for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles – will begin running shortly thereafter.

Tri-branded, four-color, two-page ads will appear in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Parade and USA Weekend national newspapers, and four-color magazine spreads will run in news and entertainment weeklies, including Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, People, Sports Illustrated, US Magazine and Entertainment Weekly.

A special "Ask Dr. Z" paint scheme, featuring Dr. Zetsche's image and the www.AskDrZ.com URL, will adorn the hood and side of the No. 9 and No. 19 Dodge Charger race cars (driven by Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield, respectively) at the July 1 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway and the July 16 New England 300 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Mayfield's No. 19 Dodge will carry the Ask Dr. Z paint scheme July 9 at the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The www.AskDrZ.com URL will appear in all advertising, encouraging consumers to write to ask their own questions about the American and German engineering and design built into all Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

Ads also will run in local newspapers and on radio stations in the Top 50 markets, including African American and Hispanic papers and radio stations.

Interactive advertising includes AOL, MSN and Yahoo!

As Chrysler Group CEO from 2000-2005, Zetsche coined the phrase "Disciplined Pizzazz" to describe the unique blending of key strengths from Mercedes – engineering and technology – (the "discipline") with the key strengths of Chrysler – American engineering and styling innovation (the "pizzazz").

"In addition to the potential for melding expertise and skill sets," Zetsche said, "the merger also brought the opportunity to leverage the vast global resources of DaimlerChrysler in our product development efforts. And, today you see the synthesis of DaimlerChrysler strengths and resources – the 'Disciplined Pizzazz' – embodied in the new generation of Chrysler Group products."

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