Chevrolet, Chrysler launch unusual car ad campaigns – USA TODAY
Both Chevrolet and Chrysler launched unconventional ad campaigns over the weekend aimed at boosting sales of passenger cars at a time when sales of SUVs and crossovers are soaring.
Chevrolet is taking its message to movie theaters, while Chrysler is using two actors who played presidents in movies for three new ads with a “President’s Day” theme.
Chevrolet hired Michigan-born filmmaker Sam Raimi to craft a 60-second “horror” film that began airing at movie theaters nationwide this past weekend.
The ad shows a young woman in a haunted house who is about to open a door. But unlike most horror movies, the woman is warned to run and heads the warning. The ad then highlights the safety features of the Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze.
The movie trailer ad is meant to draw attention to a redesigned 2016 Malibu that is roomier and lighter weight than the model it replaced in November. Last month, sales of the Malibu rose 24% in the U.S.
Over the next six months, Chevrolet said it expects its ad will reach people at nearly 2,300 theaters and 14,000 screens nationwide.
“We continue to look for unexpected, attention grabbing ways to tell our story,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles enlisted actors Martin Sheen and Bill Pullman, who have played presidents, to banter about the challenges they faced during their respective fictional terms in office along with the premium features of the Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans.
The campaign comes as sales of the 200 fell 63% in January and 47% in December compared to the same months a year earlier.
Created by the firm Wieden+Kennedy, the campaign, called “Premium to the People,” includes three new ads that began airing Sunday.
Sheen portrayed President Josiah Bartlett on the television series “The West Wing,” while Pullman played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the summer movie blockbuster Independence Day and will play the same role this summer in the sequel.
The Chrysler ads build on a crafted in America theme that began in 2011 with a two-minute Super Bowl ad with the tagline “Imported from Detroit.”
“It’s a consistent story, but it’s a evolving all the time,” said Olivier Francois, FCA’s chief marketing officer. “The objective of the campaign is to elevate the expectations of power and refinement.”
Francois said the decision to put the two actors together enable Chrysler to market two cars at the same time while saving money later on this year for the launch of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan.