Ad Watch: Can The Dodge Avenger Turn You Into Deep Purple, Batman Or A Salsa Dancer?

We'd heard initially the Dodge Avenger campaign might be something more hoontastic, so we already knew we'd be a bit disappointed by the campaign no matter how good it ended up. However, even through the disappointment, we tried to do our level best to keep our minds on a level playing field. Still, despite the attempts at mustering the positive energy, we couldn't get all that jacked up about this Sebring clone. Of the three ads, the best one's got to be the one above, which is called "tuned up" is supposed to "illustrate the fun that's available from Avenger's 3.5-liter V-6 engine and six-speed Auto Stick transmission." All it really ends up doing in our mind is illustrating how much better looking the sheet "metal" looks on the Avenger than it does on the Sebring, and that "Smoke On The Water" can't be done justice with the sounds emanating from a 3.5-liter V6 engine. But that's just the first ad. The second two, found below the jump, are not much better. The first one, "superhero," is supposed to illustrate how you can be "Batman" to your kid. The third ad, which like all non-truck commercials targeting the Hispanic community, is called "passion," and is supposed to illustrate how you can have salsa dancers dance for you if you buy a Dodge Avenger. At least that's what we think it's supposed to do. Anyway, the press release for the clone-of-Sebring's also below.


Marketing Campaign for the All-new 2008 Dodge Avenger Launches March 4 Auburn Hills, Mich., Mar 2, 2007 - The unique technologies, gutsy performance and bold styling that are helping the all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger shoulder its way into the mid-size car market are the linchpins of the marketing campaign kicking off this weekend for the Dodge brand's newest car.

"Tuned Up," for example — a 30-second TV spot that debuts Sunday, March 4 during NHL hockey on NBC — illustrates the fun that's available from Avenger's 3.5-liter V-6 engine and six-speed Auto Stick transmission. Reinforcing the message that the 2008 Dodge Avenger is a high quality sedan that is a blast to own and drive, are new print ads, a second general market TV spot, multicultural TV and print ads, lifestyle and experiential events, gaming integration, interactive marketing, promotions and sweepstakes.

Still, it is at where the tech-savvy target buyers of Avenger will find the mother lode of information about the all-new sedan. There, the key attributes of the 2008 Dodge Avenger are detailed in more than 70 engaging and interactive product story-telling modules using animation and video content.

"Our strategy is focused on appealing to import-inclined and multicultural consumers who are younger and more affluent than the segment," said Mark Spencer, Senior Manager - Dodge Marketing and Global Communications. "While the mid-size car segment tends to skew more female, the 2008 Dodge Avenger will be targeted toward a healthy balance of 30-somethings, and professional men and women who are outgoing, confident and independent. These people are heavy Internet users, so we've developed a robust Dodge Avenger Web site that will entertain and inform them."

"Dodge Avenger — with its bold, aggressive styling, innovative interior features, high levels of safety and reliability, great performance and handling, excellent fuel economy and affordable price — has along list of selling points that will impress consumers," said Tom Loveless, Director - Dodge Marketing and Global Communications. "Avenger is also important because it continues the brand's product offensive, which included the Dodge Caliber and the Dodge Nitro. The Dodge brand product portfolio has never been stronger."

Male targeted media placements for the Dodge Avenger will focus on sports, men's interest and active lifestyles, while female targeted placements were chosen to attract today's fashionistas. Connectivity platforms in key areas of music, social networking and fitness will be leveraged to bridge the gender split and appeal to both young men and women.

Dodge Home Page - As the focal point of the Dodge Avenger marketing campaign, the Dodge brand Web site continues to undergo enhancements and content improvements to meet the needs of Internet-savvy shoppers who routinely visit the Web long before they visit a dealer. Following in Dodge Nitro's footsteps, the Avenger Web site will carry more rich media, more dynamic photos, animation, video and sound. The site has information on more than 70 product features in four key categories — exterior, interior, performance and safety/security. Deeper navigation leads to product feature storytelling, or "why buy" discussion on key features such as the heated/cooled cupholder, the Chill Zone beverage cooler, MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System, the 2.4-liter World Engine, available all-wheel drive, and Electronic Stability Program with Traction Control.

Online - Complementing the Dodge site will be marketing elements for the Dodge Avenger that address the target lifestyle passions at such online sites as, MSN, FOX Sports, ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, The Onion and And for women,, Fandango, AOL Instant Messenger, Evite and Batanga will be leveraged to engage the consumer through social connectivity.

Television - The schedule has heavy sports and prime-time focus: the NBA on ABC and TNT, the NHL on NBC and Versus, and NASCAR on FOX. Prime-time shows include "Desperate Housewives," "The Nine," "Brothers and Sisters," "20/20," "Boston Legal," "House," "Prison Break," "24," "Law and Order," "Crossing Jordan," "Medium," and "Friday Night Lights," among others. On Monday, March 5, the 30-second TV spot "Tuned Up" will air on key networks including NBC and FOX, and in late night talk shows (Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel). In the coming weeks, key African American programming includes "Girlfriends," "The Game," "Everybody Hates Chris," "CW," and "All of Us," and the "BET Awards." Hispanic network TV programming includes "Primer Impacto," "Despierta America," "el Gordo," "E la Flaca," and the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

DIRECTV - Dodge is the exclusive automotive sponsor of NASCAR Hot Pass, the satellite TV program for auto racing fans. Dodge Avenger will be advertised in rotation with other car lines on many of the program's outlets including the Hot Pass Mix Channel, the DVR showcase, online banner ads and via eNewsletters sent to over 500,000 subscribers.

Print - A custom unit to gauge handraiser interest in the Dodge Avenger was featured in the March issue of Lucky magazine. It is called the "Avenger sticker unit." Readers can pull branded stickers from the sticker page in the upfront section of the magazine to flag pages noteworthy for online or in-store shopping. Three ad pages wrapped the bold and beautiful Avenger sticker page and hit newsstands on Feb. 23. Meanwhile, three new print ads will run in over 50 magazines: Sporting News, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Spin, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Jane, Men's Fitness, GQ, Maxim and People. African American, Hispanic American and Asian print will be featured in Essence, DUB, Rides, Audrey, Asian Week, Complex, and Latina to name a few.

Gaming integration - Later this month, Dodge Avenger will be featured in the Tom Clancy "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" video game produced by Ubisoft. Robust in-game active and static product integration will be further complemented via a cross channel promotion plan to include retail POS, print, online promotion and TV promo spots. Starting in April, players will engage in an online competition and one lucky grand prize winner will drive off in an all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger.

Promotion/Sweepstakes - In a tie-in with NASCAR driver Juan Montoya and his Dodge Charger Texaco/Havoline #42 Race Car, an online question-and-answer game called "42 Days of Racing" launches in mid-June. Consumers can test their NASCAR racing knowledge and win thousands of instant prizes. One grand prize winner will drive home in a 2008 Dodge Avenger.

Events - Through early summer, Dodge Avengers will be on hand at high profile events, including presenting sponsorship of " Self magazine's "Rock Bodies," and Elle magazine's "Fantasy Fashion League Draft Party." Branded events such as Hot Import Nights (in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.) and Taste of Chicago and Taste of Dallas will also showcase the all-new Dodge Avenger throughout the calendar year.

TV Commercials

"Tuned Up" opens in an indoor testing facility where a row of Dodge Avengers are being evaluated on dynamometers, their engines running. A technician is in the control booth, standing at a panel of scientific instruments. They include a row of Auto Stick gear shifters, just like those in the Dodge Avengers. Each shifter controls the speed of one of the 3.5-liter V-6 engines. Each time the technician engages a shifter, it causes one of the Dodge Avengers to emit a distinctive engine note. Eventually, he realizes that by "playing" the Auto Stick shifters, he can make the engines play the opening bars of "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. The ad closes with a voice-over: "The all-new Dodge Avenger. It's a natural performer."

"Hot Pursuit" is another 30-second general market TV spot debuting in mid-March. It focuses on Dodge Avenger's heated/cooled front cupholder that keeps cold beverages cool and hot beverages warm. A man enjoying a Sunday drive in his 2008 Dodge Avenger presses a button to warm his hot drink in the cupholder. Above him, a fighter pilot radios to his co-pilot, "Commence heat-seeking missile test." A missile launches from the jet and begins chasing the Dodge Avenger. The driver is unaware that the missile is in hot pursuit because he's too busy enjoying his drive across winding roads. Finally, he turns off the heated cupholder, and the heat-seeking missile flies past him. The ad closes with a voice-over: "Did we mention it cools also? The all-new Dodge Avenger."

"Superhero" is a 30-second spot opens on the Dodge Avenger driving through a dark alley. It turns out of the alley and onto a bridge. The African-American driver says, "Home." As he continues over the bridge, then onto a more rural street, supers appear on the screen that list features of the Dodge Avenger: Electronic Stability Program (ESP), the MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System, 6-speed Auto Stick, and 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The Avenger pulls into a garage. Our hero gets out of the car, walks around the back, and opens the rear door. His small son is asleep on the back seat . The announcer asks, "What does your child's favorite superhero drive?" Our hero lifts his son out of the car and carries him into the house. The voice-over ends with: "Technology, innovation, power. Perfect for the everyday superhero."

"PASION" is in two versions, Spanish and English. (The latter is titled "Passion.") It communicates the passion that lives within Hispanics and the all-new Dodge Avenger. Passion is reflected through quick cuts of a woman dancing the flamenco, a musician tuning his guitar, a person playing castanets, juxtoposed with shots of the vehicle in action. On-screen supers show the heated/cooled cupholders, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System. The voice-over ends with: "The all-new Dodge Avenger. Change your step."

Dodge Avenger, Assembled! Press Shots Of The Not-A-Concept 2008 Dodge Avenger R/T [internal]


Al Navarro

Better than Ford's latest salvo that recently aired here, but still pretty sad.

Those press releases are a hoot. Am I really in the same industry?