With the goal of building its presence in fast-growing multicultural markets, Chrysler is making Southfield, Mich.-based Global Hue lead agency for all multicultural strategies for the four brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Jeep.
Global Hue also happens to be lead agency on the Jeep brand. But the Auburn Hills, Mich. automaker this month shifted the brand's biggest launch this year -- the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee -- to Portland, Ore.-based Wieden+Kennedy, AOR for Dodge. The company said at the time that the change was necessary because Global Hue had too much on its plate vis à vis multicultural marketing programs for the automaker.
In January, when the automaker's long-standing contract with BBDO expired, the company named the individual agencies to each of the four brands. In addition to giving Dodge to Wieden + Kennedy, Chrysler shifted AOR duties on its eponymous brand to Minneapolis-based Fallon; Dallas-based Richards Group is the agency of record for the Ram truck. Previously, the lead agency for each brand was responsible for the multicultural efforts for their specific brands.
The company said the purpose of the individual agency approach was to assure that each brand had a distinct voice. Olivier Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand and head of marketing, Chrysler Group, said at the time: "To establish a distinct identity and build upon the current brand equity, it is important that the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram truck brands retain individual agencies that fit with the brand direction. This includes helping to further identify each of the brand's specific values and culture."
In February, Chrysler tapped New Media Strategies (NMS) as its social-media marketing agency of record for the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram truck brands.
A Chrysler spokesperson says Global Hue will work with the respective lead agencies of each division to translate the brand message to diversity markets. Although the agency is AOR for Jeep, its expertise is in multicultural marketing. The agency also handles Bermuda tourism, the MGM Grand in Detroit, and multicultural efforts for FedEx, the U.S. Navy, Subway and Verizon, among others.