Not since Lee Iacocca dared TV viewers to find a better-built car than a Chrysler and buy it (they did, it was called a Toyota) has a CEO type stepped in front of a camera to pitch the company's wares. Now, finding itself in a lack-of-image crisis, Chrysler's turning Dieter Zetsche's natural blend of goofy avuncularity and stoic Germanness into what they hope is TV (and sales) gold — in a persona they're calling "Dr. Z." A Web site launch preceeds a spate of new spots that feature Zetsche answering mail from fictional consumers. In the first one, a Jalopnik exclusive ad premiere, Dr. Z takes apart a 300C to demonstrate how its suspension is the product of German (and American) engineering. It's not as outright batshit mad as Volkswagen's "Un-pimp My Ride" spots, but we'd imagine they'll work just as well, if convincing the public that Chryslers are really Mercedes is really a sound branding strategy. [Thanks to Dubspeed Driven for pitching in.]

Related:
Paging Dr. Zetsche — Dunno Why, But We Know We Can't Wait To Find Out; More Ad Watch [Internal]