Chrysler's Ram Truck division has rolled out a new version of the pickup called the Outdoorsman, designed for people who hunt, fish, camp and are more likely to bring a bowie knife than a camera into the boonies. They are, therefore, likely to need storage bins, a good towing capacity, chargers and a rugged-looking vehicle.
The Chrysler LLC division is getting that point across with a new integrated campaign that includes TV spots via Ram Truck traditional-media AOR The Richards Group, Dallas, and an Internet program via SapientNitro.
While the TV ads offer vignettes of guys in the woods roughing it and doing things like using a bow and arrow to stop a bird from tweeting in the middle of the night, the digital effort includes online ads and centers on a microsite positioning the truck as Father Nature.
Alan Pafenbach -- creative director at SapientNitro's Boston office, which services Ram Truck -- says the Outdoorsman project began last fall, "and we did an initial online ad campaign to set up the Father Nature idea and followed that up over the winter and then developed this microsite."
Pafenbach says the overall strategy for the site is to parallel Ram's goal of keeping the brand fresh by introducing new products on a fairly regular basis "and to ... target very specific interests of potential customers. So you will continue to see these specialized products brought out on a regular basis addressing different audiences."
The idea behind "Father Nature" is that people likely to be interested in this truck are those who go out and participate in nature not as observers, but as "part of the food chain," he says. "It's oriented toward the sportsman and to people who live in areas where there is still a fair amount of hunting and fishing."
The microsite at RamTrucks.com puts the truck in the woods with the consumer gazing at the truck at grass level (and each blade of grass seems to move independently). The viewer can use a compass at the bottom of the screen to view the truck from different angles. Each perspective launches a discussion about a specific feature of the truck, with a gruff voiceover that ties it to the sportsman lifestyle. The section on the truck's seat fabric involves the guy talking about how he likes to grab his dog and head for the hills to clear his head. The 360-degree experience also changes to reflect the time of day where the viewer is seeing the ad.
The agency redesigned the Ram Web site as well so that it has a lot of video and computer graphics-based content. One element is a Rambox Bass Fishing Challenge (referring to the storage bins within the sidewalls of the Ram flatbed) that launches a separate experience in which site visitors can virtually fish by directing a rod back and forth. The game has a running scoreboard of everyone who is playing. There is also a "World of Father Nature" page driven by Google Maps that shows one's local region for things like fishing areas and Ram dealerships.
Pafenbach says the look of the new site, which has textures in metals and wood found in the truck, offers more functionality. "With lots more video content and Flash movies that let you look at different parts of the truck," it is made to illustrate how Ram vehicles are being redesigned. "We made it much more visual and interactive with things like a new colorizing feature where the fit and finish of the vehicles and the quality should come through. That was our assignment."
SapientNitro's Miami office handles digital for Dodge and Chrysler, and the Toronto office handles Jeep.