Friday, December 4, 2009

Brands I Can't Stand: Chrysler

Oh the troubled American automaker who just continues to shoot itself in the foot with its poor business decisions, poor use of a taxpayer bailout, and off strategy advertising.

I've never been fan of Chrysler or any of its brands including Jeep and Dodge, but this last year Chrysler has drawn my attention even more for all the wrong reasons.

It began last year when it took a several billion dollar loan from the American taxpayer, yet really had no business plan in affect as to how it would stimulate the economy or help rejuvenate the struggling Detroit job force. Why did we give them money again? I'm pretty sure even a bank would simply tell them "You're not a desirable candidate for a loan."

Then the unfortunate news came of long time shop BBDO Detroit's impending January 2010 closure due to the end of its longtime partnership with Chrysler, who has been drawing out a several month long pitch for projects from several big name agencies across the country.

Now as I woke up this morning to CNN and a bowl of Cracklin' Oats, I see my third reason staring back at me. The most off strategy car ad I've ever seen. I actually wondered if I'd turned on E! and it was a re-run of SNL. Hiring Italian shop Armando Testa, Chrysler decides its now time to take on social responsibility. A high production, high budget 60 sec spot featuring some of the most famous former foreign political leaders of the last 20 years calls for the release of Burma political leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Really? I wonder how much it cost to make that ad, when you could have used that money to donate to a Detroit food shelf and help your former dedicated employees. I completely agree with AdAge in its review of how flat this ad will fall on U.S consumers.

I mean white doves accompanied by a Chrysler 300 bursting through the Berlin Wall?! Could we combine anymore cliches within 60 seconds? Don't even get me started on the annoying and even more off strategy Dodge Ram spot and recent i am Jeep campaign.

Here's some advice Chrysler: use that billion dollars wisely. Stop spending it in overseas shops, reinvest in Detroit and the community and country who has supported your company for over 50 years. Yes I'm well aware I sound like a Middle American man on the back of a truck, but if I'm going to give you my money, spend it wisely.