Analysts question Iacocca in Chrysler ads

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8B6PEK81.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down
Analysts question Iacocca in Chrysler ads July 7, 2005
DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group was still finalizing details of the $75 million ad campaign Thursday, spokesman Jason Vines said. But the ads, featuring Iacocca and actor Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, already have been filmed and are expected to air soon. Iacocca and Alexander tout Chrysler's new discount program, which allows consumers to buy vehicles at the employee rate through Aug. 1.
Vines defended the choice of the 80-year-old Iacocca, saying even his 13-year-old daughter had heard of the industry icon who saved Chrysler from bankruptcy before retiring in 1992. Iacocca appeared in memorable ads throughout the 1980s with the signature tag line, "If you can find a better car, buy it" a line Alexander delivers in the current ads.
[Interesting they're using CocoNuts as a prop, and having Kastanza deliver the line. Might as well slap CocaNuts in the face at the same time.]
Vines said company tests found consumers of all ages responded positively to Iacocca. The former chairman and chief executive has appeared frequently in ads since his Chrysler days, including campaign pitches for President Bush in 2000 and ads for his Olivio Premium Products, which makes olive oil-based spread.
"He is a guy that brought a company back, not a guy that brought a company down. That's legend, true legend" Vines said.
Bradley Johnson, an editor at large of Advertising Age magazine, said using Iacocca gives Chrysler much-needed attention after it lagged in the employee-discount game. General Motors Corp. began offering an employee discount June 1, and its sales climbed 41 percent last month. Ford Motor Co. launched a similar deal Tuesday, the day before Chrysler.
"I think Chrysler made a brilliant decision" Johnson said. "Chrysler has to find a way back, and it's brought back an icon to sell the cars."
Paul Ostasiewski, an assistant professor of marketing at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, said Chrysler's options were limited. American consumers likely wouldn't respond to Chrysler's German chairman, Dieter Zetsche {Ha! Damn right they don't] and its last attempt to use a celebrity spokeswoman -- singer Celine Dion -- quickly bombed, Ostasiewski said.
"Who do you have to represent you in this case? There are very few people who would fit the mold" he said.
Still, Ostasiewski said Iacocca likely won't pull in the young viewers automakers covet. Other analysts agreed. "You would have to explain who he is to a lot of people under the age of 35" said Michael Bernacchi, a professor of marketing at the University of Detroit Mercy.
On the other hand, Bernacchi said, people in their early 50s have the greatest amount of income in America right now, and Chrysler knows it. [Yea? Well why are they building pimp-mobiles for that demographic then?]
"Those folks know who Iacocca is and have the resources to buy those vehicles" Bernacchi said.
[Resources? To by _those_ vehicles? They're the ones buying Audi and BMW or Jags. Sorry, any self-respecting upper middle class wasp isin't fooled by a car line that starts at around $20k. Chrysler missed their chance to build a car model for that demographic. The Crossfire is not it, and neither is the Viper, and the SRT-8 is still an ugly pimp mobile]
Both GM and Ford said Thursday they had no plans to add a celebrity pitchman to the campaigns promoting their employee discounts [who would the use anyways?]. GM's ads feature company employees, while family-run Ford welcomes customers to join the Ford family.
Chrysler has scooped up some coveted street cred in recent months, with the Chrysler 300C appearing in a Snoop Dogg video and rapper 50 Cent angling for a Dodge Charger [I rest my case]. The momentum has prompted some observers to question Chrysler's decision to feature former boss Lee Iacocca -- an octogenarian and inventor of the minivan -- in its new ads.
"Iacocca will resonate with people 40 and over, the Baby Boomers, but he won't necessarily resonate with those 40 and under" said Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst at Global Insight Inc., a consulting firm. "It depends on who they're trying to attract. But their vehicles say Gen X. They're all about hip, cool, retro-looking things."
['things' is right. People with $$$ don't buy 'things'.]
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MoPar Man wrote:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8B6PEK81.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down
The folks Chrysler is aiming this campaign at probably don't remember that so-called memorable line.

Pure poppycock. Chrysler's done making 2005 vehicles, what is out there now is just inventory that needs to be unloaded.
All they are trying to do is play a big game of chicken with the buying public. Remember last year? When the 2005 models came out there were brisk sales for the first couple of months, then everything tanked. There were places still trying to get rid of 2004 models in December, and when the remaining 2004 models finally got really cut to the bone, then suddenly there was a big spike.
What they are afraid of is people looking for 2005 models just hanging back and waiting for the real closeout sales at the end of the year. GM figured this out, since GM has got such bad press lately, that quite a lot of bargain hunters figured correctly that GM products were undervalued, and when the end of year closeouts came, GM would have a huge overstock of inventory and would it would be a real bloodbath. So, they did their campaign and the bargain hunters blinked, and there was a stampede.
This isn't a way to build a brand long term or create brand loyalty, by definition the people your selling to only care about getting the cheapest of what there is. So much for finding a way back.

Those people can't afford $20K cars anyway.

Exactly. Chrysler isn't shooting for the over 50 crowd that has money. They are shooting for the 35-50 demographic that wants to think they have money but really doesen't.

The young crowd who want hip cool retro can't afford new cars. The older crowd as you say are too busy buying Beemers. Chrysler wants the crowd in between - my generation - who mostly is still raising kids and are stuck in the assistant manager/VP/etc. positions waiting for the 50-and-over crowd that is above us in the career ladder to retire and get out, so we can get their positions and money.
This is actually rather a difficult demographic for advertisers, the 40-50 crowd. Think back of when this crowd was in their 20's, that decade was the 1980's, which had as it's defining moment, the destruction of a huge liberal progressive agenda by Ronald Regan. Ronnie was put into office by the generation that's 60-70 now and that generation had little in common with us back then, and absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with us today.
So you can pity the poor advertiser, trying to put together a campaign to reach people in my generation. There's not a single thing that happened throughout the 80's that any of us liked, save perhaps that is the decade that most of us got our first lay, and during what should have been our glory decade of our lives, society gave us absolutely nothing, and we didn't even have a war to protest. We spent our glory decade navel-staring, playing video games, and waiting for the conservative revolution to flame out, which we had to depend on the next generation to do for us in 1992.
And in any case, the 40-50 year old generation (I detest the title GenX) just missed out on everythng fun. The generation immediately before us got the ground floor of the PC computer revolution and got to retire on yachts, or at least lose more money in high tech startup stock options than most people will make their lives. The generation before that one got Disco and all the meaningless one night stands they could ever want, and the generation before them got free love, mate swapping, a great war to protest, and all the dobies they could smoke. And the generation that came after us got the intense pleasure of taking all the hipocritical conservatives and pulling their pants down by rubbing Bush Sr.'s nose in the dirt, and again with the 96 reelection of one of the most hated (by the religious right) politicians this century, and the generation that followed them and is in it's glory days right now has the largest library of free music and movies in the history of history, at the touch of a button and the help of illegal filesharing software.
Our generation, by contrast, got Molly Ringwald, without even the poor consolation of a few nudie pics of her floating around. And how are you going to design an advertising campaign around that? No wonder they went to Iacocca!
Ted
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Say what? I thought they bought lots of things. They play golf, how hard could it be to sell stuff to them?
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"...the destruction of a huge liberal progressive agenda by Ronald Regan."
Learn to spell. It's "Reagan", not "Regan".
And THANK GOD we destroyed that liberal agenda. Listen, if you liberals want to spend YOUR OWN money on cockamamie, harebrained schemes to repair social problems, that's fine, but don't force me to contribute. You have absolutely no evidence that throwing money at these problems will remedy them, and you insist that I take it on faith, just because you say it will. Well, I don't think you know what you're talking about. I think you just want to throw money at these problems because it will make you feel better, and because it's not your money that you'll be throwing at it; it's MY money, because you pay virtually nothing in taxes.
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On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

"Conservatives", on the other hand, have absolutely no evidence that folding our hands and praying to Jesus will remedy any problems, and you insist we take it on faith, just because you say it will.
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On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:34:12 -0400, "Daniel J. Stern"

But with the conservative model, we taxpayers get to keep more of our money. The problems never seem to go away, no matter what happens.
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wrote:

And let's not forget that human nature is far more compatible with a sound motivational environment. Expecting people to behave in a way that's not in their nature is the act of a crazy man.
This is changing the subject, but you'd have to be pretty blind to claim there was no evidence that God actively solves problems. And that's the root of it. You can complain all you want, but you can't actually change that. While religious people can easily understand the goals and impact of any secular program, I don't think there's any way the reverse can be true. If you think it's true, you don't understand the question.
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wrote:

you
No you don't you just think you do.
If you don't fund enough cops then the crime rate increases, which means more theft, which even if you don't directly suffer it yourself, the retailers do and they raise prices so we all pay. Do you know how much is lost due to identity theft nowadays? Are you really naieve enough to think that the banks don't pass that cost on to you?
Same thing happens when you fund prisons instead of treatment programs for druggies, it just pushes the costs elsewhere. Just because they are pushed under the rug doesen't mean you aren't paying them.
And the other thing is that it wasn't a Democrat who was responsible for jacking up the budget deficit and national debt. Seems to me last time around the last liberal in office had a surplus, and if we hadn't elected a conservative then we would have been well on our way to paying off the debts incurred by Reagan.
So far on the national scene, the major conservatives seem to be of the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do crowd. From Nixon lying about burgling in Watergate, to Reagan lying aobut secret funding of contras, to Newt Gingrich's adultery, to Karl Rove outing a CIA operative. And the current one in there and his scrubbing the record of his so-called military service.
In the US the liberals are the reasonable ones, the conservatives are the off-the-deep-end ones. If you really want to see off-the-deep-end liberalism, go to Britian where the government actually pays for the living of people who blow up the subway system.
Ted
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