Two of the most popular characters during last fall’s TV season were the Dodge Brothers—not stars of a new reality show, but the recreation of the siblings Horace and John who created the Dodge car company a century ago. And so Fiat Chrysler is bringing back the dashing duo in a cinematic new ad campaign directed by Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne may be casting doubts on the company’s future by continuing to shop the company to an unwilling-to-merge General Motors, according to reports. But in the here and now, CMO Olivier Francois is tasked with helping consumers make sense of the company’s efforts to overhaul and sharpen the image of each brand in its stable.
Dodge’s growing identity is one of the sharpest in the Fiat Chrysler line-up: the epitome of performance. That’s why the automaker is gradually pruning the marque’s nonperformance-oriented nameplates, such as its minivan, and playing up pulse-pounding statements such as the 700-horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat—which is why Challenger sales were 38 percent ahead of a year ago through May.
The Dodge Brothers campaign has contributed significantly to this progress. John and Horace Dodge return to their brand-defining shenanigans in four new TV commercials, including a 6o-second spot that shows the young brothers long before they founded their car company with the first vehicle they built, a bicycle, which bears an intertwined “DB” logo.
The first of three other 30-second spots has them ruining an upper-crust country-club scene of a century ago with a modern Dodge Durango SUV that is blaring out music on its Beats sound system.
Another features special 2o15 performance-tuned Challenger and Chargers vehicles with some of the Dodge Brothers’ original touring cars.
And the last one has the brothers at the wheel of a 2015 Dodge Charger that is flashing nasty Morse code messages about the competition with its headlights.
“Our Dodge owners have embraced this campaign,” said Francois said in a press release. “They are extremely passionate about our cars and connect with the excitement these two brothers first brought to the auto industry decades ago and continue to bring to the ads in which they star today.”
Francois continues bringing huge creative talents to lend their efforts to the resurrection of the company and its brands, including Brody as well as Eminem, Clint Eastwood, Bob Dylan and Will Ferrell. So Francois has been keeping his end of the bargain.
Will he have a chance to complete his envisioned re-architecting of the Fiat Chrysler brand stable? Or will Marchionne strike a deal with some rival automaker, which may ensure the future viability of Chrysler in some form but could endanger some brands, such as Dodge.