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Video: Chrysler Focuses On Past (Because The Future Might Be Awkward)

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Screencap from Chrysler's 'Coming Home' campaign

Screencap from Chrysler's 'Coming Home' campaign

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Dragging out archival footage is nothing new for advertisers, especially during the holiday season. (Best example from recent years: Macy's.) It's the sort of thing companies do to remind the public of their past, their place in the community, and often to gloss over more current, less warm-and-fuzzy events.

Chrysler has taken that approach in its new "Coming Home" spot, which features a chronological roll-out of Chrysler vehicles, backed by some dreamy, Sigur Rós-esque music (actually "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap, for those who care). The footage is fake -- staged to look vintage -- but the effect is the same.

Like most such spots, the ad doesn't say anything concrete about the company's future. In this case, that's particularly convenient, since Chrysler is behind the curve on new product development -- so far behind that CEO Sergio Marchionne is keeping the PT Cruiser in production.

That said, we've seen worse ads recently. We'll give this one a pass for now, but we can't say how much longer we'll be overwhelmed by charitable holiday spirit.

[Chrysler]

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Comments (4)
  1. I don't believe Chrysler is too far behind in the design and development curve Richard, thanks to the tremendous efforts of Chrysler and Fiat to merge "best Practices/Products" in a concerted effort. In addition, Chrysler will soon be launching outstanding product that has been in the pipeline with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. All three have been lauded as "top shelf" by all who have seen them in development. In addition, many current vehicles will recieve extensive facelifts and improvements in a few short months and when the new stuff starts rolling, LOOK OUT! A thorough read of Chryslers' 5 year plan is impressive and there is no need to panic, world class product is just around the corner while some is already in the showroom. No Richard, the people at Chrysler see a bright future AND a proud past. Machione gets that message loud and clear.
     
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  2. As a Jeep driver myself, I hope the company's future is, indeed, bright. (Hell, I've still got nearly three years left on my warranty.) However, there's no denying that Chrysler's development teams all but stopped working in early 2009. Marchionne has been quoted as saying that the situation was worse than anyone at Fiat had imagined.
    _
    It's great that there are Chrysler fans out there -- the company clearly needs more people like you cheering it on -- but I'm naturally inclined to be a bit more skeptical. Maybe it's genetic.
     
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  3. Also, I have to admit: the more I see this ad, the more I hate it. Why not pull real Chrysler footage? Why did their creative team opt to go the staged route? Just to work in the bag? Ugh. It's a little obvious and lazy, if you ask me.
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    That said, there's reason to believe this ad was the result of Chrysler bigwigs and bean-counters interfering in the creative process: http://www.adpulp.com/archives/2010/01/an_inauspicious.php
     
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  4. This is the first time I've ever seen this ad, and what is it, January 5th? It must not have gotten much airplay.
    I think the ad serves the purpose of keeping the company's name in front of the public, and of polishing an image that's been pretty-badly tarnished by the events of last summer. Even the most ardent Chrysler critic has to look at that old Charger and admit it was pretty bad-ass in its day, and look at that minivan and agree it was a pretty neat idea. It's too bad the 300 turning into the driveway at the end wasn't a tease shot of the new 300.
    The challenge ahead arises from the fact that the company's strongest entries - the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, the minivans, and the Ram pickup - all compete in flat to declining (though still large) sectors of the market. What little growth there will be appears to be coming in the small and mid-size end of things. It remains to be seen if the Fiat-derived entries will sell with the kind of volume Chrysler needs to rebuild significant market share. I hope they do.
    I wish they'd revive that small-Cummins diesel program and drop that motor in a light half-ton truck - and tweak it, somehow, to get thirty miles to the gallon. I think the market would go crazy for a 30 mpg pick-up that would actually have the guts to do some work and haul three people and the stuff to do it. I know some guys who can get mid-20's out of their Cummins-powered 3/4-ton trucks, so it's not that far out of the question...
     
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