While Honda may be counting on Jerry Seinfeld to generate more excitement for Acura (see http://www.examiner.com/article/can-jerry-seinfeld-save-acura?cid=db_art...), Chrysler is looking to fictional TV news anchor Ron Burgundy to do the same for its Dodge Durango.
“When you have the smallest marketing budget of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers, you have to take risks to get your TV spots noticed,” remarked Olivier Francois, marketing chief for Chrysler, who has had previous advertising success with commercials featuring Clint Eastwood and Eminem.
Last year Chrysler laid out $1.9 billion for advertising, in comparison with $2.3 billion spent by Ford, and $3.1 billion by GM.
What’s even better is that Francois got Burgundy (played by actor Will Ferrell) to do the promotions for free, after making a deal with Paramount Pictures that exchanged his services on Durango SUV commercials in exchange for ads to promote the sequel to their 2004 “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” film. The sequel is slated to be released this December.
The 2014 Durango features a “sportier” looking than its predecessors (similar to the trim styling of Rallye with blackened plastic bumper and outline), as well as a new LED taillight cluster, reminiscent of the 2011 and newer Dodge Charger, and an updated steering wheel with paddle shifters. In addition, both the 3.6L V6 and (optional) HEMI V8 with be paired with the new Chrysler 8-speed automatic transmission, resulting in an estimated “9% increase in fuel efficiency,” according to the company.