Chrysler LLC's new campaign for Dodge Ram may focus on Ram Heavy Duty trucks, but the larger mission is to reinforce Ram as a fourth brand for the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker.
The effort, which shows how Ram Heavy Duty pickups are used for both recreational and vocational purposes, uses the tried-and-true themes for truck -- and especially commercial-truck -- advertising. Ads show tough folks doing tough work using their trucks to haul, load, and scramble over rough terrain.
All told, there are five TV spots for the campaign, plus a print campaign also showing Americans at work in remote areas, agricultural settings, and using a Hemi-powered Ram to plow through snow to clear roads for commuters.
Other ads posit heavy-duty Ram trucks as ideal for certain recreational activities like hunting, fishing, towing boats, ATVs, race cars, and horse trailers.
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This isn't the first campaign from Ram since its separation from Dodge, but it is the biggest. The first post-separation work was Nov. 4. In mid-December, a TV, print, online and radio campaign supported the Ram Motor Trend Truck of the Year award for four weeks. But "the campaign for the all-new Ram Heavy Duty is the most comprehensive, fully integrated and expansive Ram brand campaign to launch since the brand separation," says a Chrysler spokesperson.
She says it made sense to devote the big media guns to heavy-duty trucks, although they are 30% of the pickup truck market. "Our research tells us that messages that focus on heavy-duty drive light-duty traffic and vice versa. On the vocational side, creating credibility for the heavy-duty truck will support positive consideration for the entire brand."
The media strategy is driven by geographic purchase trends, with spot-market buys for broadcast, outdoor and radio, per the spokesperson. "Our creative messaging will support these patterns. And there will be some network footprint presence to maintain broad awareness," she says. The effort includes sponsorship of the Ram and will also sponsor the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS, April 18.
The automaker also redid its Web site RamTrucks.com, and added a new one, Outfitter.RamTrucks.com, that focuses on such branded gear as cowhide work gloves, G-Shock watches, an 18-can cooler, and men's clothing. The Ram campaign includes a brand blog, "Ram Zone" and elements on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Grassroots elements of the campaign comprise a "Master Sportsman's Tour," a 26-state, 50-venue road show for hunters and fishermen at outdoor expositions; and The Ram Heavy Duty Tour hitting dozens of truck events, races, home-improvement, farming and other trade shows throughout the year around the country.