Jeep Grand Cherokee Effort Touts Luxury, Capability

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Jeep has launched a new national campaign to talk up the virtues of its Grand Cherokee SUV. Launching Monday, the print, broadcast and digital effort spotlights the vehicle for is array of media and industry endorsements, fuel economy, capability and the quality of its interior amenities, and appointments.

The campaign, via AOR Southland, Mich.-based GlobalHue, sets the stage with a four-page insert in Monday's USA Today spotlighting the list of third-party endorsements and awards the vehicle has won over the year since it launched. Jeep, which says the vehicle is its most-awarded SUV ever, is citing the 30 or more such kudos in the piece.

Jeep also has Lexus in the crosshairs in the effort, which puts special attention on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit model, the first time that Grand Cherokee variant has appeared in ads.

The TV spot is about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit model, and how the company's testing of the vehicle's leather interior is better than that of the Lexus RX350. It also talks up the 500-mile-per-tank driving range, and how the vehicle has a better range than Honda Pilot EX.

The TV effort comprises four TV ads. One talks about how one can drive from Pebble Beach to Los Angeles on a single tank. This humorous spot teases that even though your Jeep Grand Cherokee can make that long stretch without filling up, we're not sure that can be said about its owner. Another suggests that even if the urban landscape was a giant sandbox, the vehicle would navigate it easily with its Selec-Terrain Vehicle Management and Quadra Lift air-suspension technology, which lets the driver change the vertical distance of the chassis above the wheels for difficult terrain.

Kim Adams House, head of Jeep advertising, tells Marketing Daily that while a lot of owners of the vehicle won't take it into the outback, "Off-road capability is a surrogate for real world safety."

"When we first launched the 2011 Grand Cherokee almost a year ago to the day, we talked about quality and craftsmanship, that Grand Cherokee was a premiere vehicle not just for Jeep and Chrysler overall but within the industry. Now, the most-awarded [status] brings truth to that." She says the marketing launch cadence focused on different elements, "First and foremost quality and craftsmanship, then four-by-four capability." But she says the company hasn't spent much time enlightening consumers on the interior materials and design story. "Seventy-five percent of the ads speak to the third-party claims and all speak to either fuel economy or luxury."

Adams House says the vehicle is appealing to a fairly broad consumer target, both domestics and imports. But she says the company isn't altering its core off-road-capability positioning to conquest the wine-tasting crowd. "Capability is our mainstay; that's who we are," she says. "For people looking for luxury SUVs, what put sets [Grand Cherokee] apart is both luxury, and also the capability story that not every luxury SUV can make claim to."

Media placement elements include network and cable television teamed with a full digital and social media strategy and CRM efforts.

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