Dodge Rolls Out Multimedia Campaign For Nitro

Chrysler Group's Dodge division launched advertising yesterday for the new 2007 Nitro, its first mid-sized SUV. The multimedia campaign takes a masculine approach, but is also reaching out to women.

BBDO in Troy, MI. created the campaign, which includes TV, print and online components in both male and female-targeted media vehicles. The buys include sports programming and men's magazines as well as shows like ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and NBC's "Crossing Jordan."

Media buys will target men in three areas: sports/fitness, social networking/entertainment, and personalization (as in the way men will create a "man den" in the basement or garage.)

In addition to TV and print ads on sports programming, men's magazines, and Internet sites, there will be integration of the Nitro in console and online games.

The effort adheres to Dodge's masculine, rakish brand identity, embodied by its five-year-old tag line "Grab Life by the Horns."

A new TV ad, "Planet," broke last night on CBS NFL, Fox NFL Sunday, NASCAR on NBC and "Law & Order" on TNT.



The ad, which will also run in cinemas in December, shows a crane off-loading a Nitro from a ship. The chains break, and the vehicle crashes to the pier...and keeps going. It breaks through the pavement and keeps falling--past a subway station, through the Earth itself, past a Jules Verne-like sub terra, past dinosaurs and other creatures, and past Hell--all the way to China, where it breaks through land on its roof, then rights itself.

There will also be four 15-second spots for the Hispanic market, and the two general market ads will be re-purposed for the Hispanic market.

The media plan includes 70 magazines, including Domino and Martha Stewart Blueprint, Essence, and Ebony, as well as Web sites for HGTV, Home Depot, and The Nest/The Knot. Ads will also appear, AOL Home/Organizing and MSN Lifestyle: Home.

Mark Spencer, senior manager, Dodge Marketing and Global Communications, said that although about 45 percent of the target buyers are female, the message for the vehicle matches its masculine "attitude" and muscular design.

"A large percentage of the mid-sized SUV segment is predominantly older female, median age upper 40s, and if you look at the offerings in the segment, they tend to be fairly conservative designs," he said. "Nitro distinguishes itself from most other entrances, and begs to be spoken about in a masculine way. Almost all the messaging is masculine."

Targeting females with masculine messaging, or for that matter--older buyers with younger messaging--is common in the auto business.

"We have found that with trucks, a masculine message will appeal to men and women," says Wes Brown of IceOlogy, L.A., "as long as it's not too over the top."

Dodge is also touting the vehicle through exclusive sponsorship of NFL Sunday Ticket, a satellite TV program, and the vehicle is being advertised on satellite programs like Enhanced Sunday Ticket, NFL Game Mix and Player Tracker.

All elements of the campaign direct consumers to the updated Web site, to which Dodge has added video, sound, and a virtual walk-around of the car.

Other digital elements of the campaign include integration of the vehicle into the video game "NHL 2K7" on Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2 and PS3, and the car will be the grand prize in an online video game called "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas Challenge."

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