AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – Chrysler, known for making news with its two-minute Super Bowl, is going long form again. This time, they are debuting the campaign for their Dodge Dart with a ninety second ad during Major League Baseball’s All Star Game.

(Video provided by Chrysler)

The ad is entitled “How to Change Cars Forever.” Chrysler calls it a “rapid fire instructional spot on how to make a world-class car today.

“We wanted to provide a peek inside what it takes to bring a new car to fruition,” said Olivier Francois, Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC.

INTERVIEW: Dodge Advertising Manager Jason Russ talks with WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert.

The ad features a fast-moving, funny look into the way a car is developed, at least from the wishful perspective of the vehicle’s development team.

It even features a brief cameo from NFL quarterback Tom Brady.

“He just seemed to fit the Dodge brand very well, in terms of being very well grounded,” said Dodge advertising manager Jason Russ.

Brady only appears on screen for a second.  Russ says they didn’t want to do a typical “celeberity endorsement” commercial.  Bue he did confirm that Brady would appear in future Dart spots.

Russ said that Chrysler has learned that longer commercials, used in big events, can make a big impression.

“When you have a lot to say, and again you want to be entertaining, it’s hard to do that in thirty seconds, and even sixty seconds,” he said.  “So the ninety second ad allows us to get the full message across.”

This comes as the compact Dodge Dart begins appearing in dealerships in significant numbers. The Dart Chrysler’s first American product based on an Alfa Romeo platform.

“The end result isn’t just a new compact car, but a groundbreaking vehicle that deserves an equally impactful marketing campaign,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand.

Some analysts say the Dart needs an advertising boost to get it off to a good start.

“The Dart desperately needs marketing. While the number of compact car shoppers visiting’s web site and considering the Dodge Dart has been inching higher since its January unveiling at the Detroit auto show, it’s still on few shopping lists” said senior analyst Michelle Krebs. “Shopping consideration for the Dart is at just 2.2 percent of segment shoppers on, in the territory with the aged Nissan Sentra and far behind its key rivals.”

The Dart, Krebs says, is the major missing piece in Chrysler’s product lineup.

“The Dart is critically important, not only as the first Chrysler-Fiat offspring, but because it fills a gaping hole in Chrysler’s line that has been vacant since the demise of the Dodge Neon in the 2005 model year,” she said. “With roller-coaster gas prices, the compact car segment has been growing in volume and becoming crowded with solid new players including the Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus along with upstart Hyundai Elantra and stalwarts Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Dodge is also partnering with and Viacom to create a multi media launch for the Dart. They also plan to have a big presence in theatres. Advertising manager Jason Russ says this will all lead up to what the company calls a “high impact” marketing launch in the fall.

“As you know, the summer’s a difficult time to find people.  A lot of people are out enjoying spending time with friends and family.  We found a couple different avenues that we think makes sense.  Then we’ll really start to pour the fuel into the campaign as we get into the later parts of the summer, and into the fall.”

WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert recently test-drove the Dodge Dart. His video review can be found here.


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