Was Lido Worth It?

July 11, 2005
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We were so caught up last week reporting on the return of Lee Iacocca to Chrysler advertising that we forget to talk about whether the ads were any good or not.

While I thought it was a heck of an idea to bring Lido back to put some fresh spin on the whole "employee pricing" thing started by General Motors, I think the creatives at BBDO, Detroit blew the executions. The ads feature Seinfeld star Jason Alexander prattling on to a gray-haired gent, who we find out is Iacocca halfway through the ad. Alexander at one point says, "If you can find a better car, buy it," Iacocca's line from the 1980s when he made the phrase famous.

The ads don't make good enough use of Iacocca's return. Alexander, who really brings nothing to the spots, is featured more prominently and has more to say. Bad move. Iacocca should have been the star of the commercials, talking directly to the viewers. More drama and better humor is called for if you are going top bring Lido out of retirement.

The Chrysler execs who thought of using Lido get five stars for the idea. BBDO gets a half-star for what the agency did with the idea. Maybe they did such a bad job because the idea didn't come from them.--Jim Burt

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