Dodge is enjoying a marketer’s dream come true these days: It’s got a new series of TV ads that feature the star of the hottest movie franchise in the world—one in which the brand is a featured player in its own right.
Vin Diesel, who plays Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious movie franchise, is the star performer behind the wheel of various Dodge muscle cars in a new ad campaign featuring a new tagline, “The brotherhood of muscle.”
The Fate of the Furious was the No. 1 movie last week for the third straight week, and the Furious franchise has established a huge global fan base over its 15 years of lighting up the silver screen.
“We’ve got the most organic spokesperson ever for our brand,” Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge and the passenger-car brands of Fiat Chrysler Automotive, told brandchannel. “It’s the guy who’s been doing it for 15 years: ‘Dominic Toretto.’ The personality in the ads is Vin playing Dominic Toretto because that character has the personality and attitude that we want to portray.”
Vin Diesel has driven Dodge performance vehicles for as long as the Fast & Furious movie franchise has been climbing the charts with its chase-on-chase scenes and widespread metallurgical and mortal violence.
One 60-second and two 30-second spots depict Diesel and his band of pedal-gunning cohorts in Dodge’s Challenger and Charger muscle cars and even throw in a souped-up Durango SUV just to complete the brand story. After a short basso profundo soliloquy by Diesel about how bad-ass Dodge, its cars and its drivers are, each ad ends with him beckoning fans: “Welcome to the brotherhood of muscle.”
Dodge also ends the ads with its great, year-old tagline: “Domestic. Not Domesticated.” It perfectly sums up what Fiat Chrysler Automotive has been attempting to do with the Dodge brand since its decision several years ago to shed pretensions to make the marque as broad and mainstream as Ford or Chevy.
FCA determined to hone Dodge into a narrower but true performance brand, supplying muscle-car styling and endless horsepower to its handful of remaining sedans as well as continuing to offer Durango and Journey SUVs and the Caravan minivan.
“We said we wanted to be this mainstream performance brand,” Kuniskis said. “We decided we were basically going to take Dodge down to its coare DNA and strength.”
The notion of a made-in-America brand also is important to Dodge, and partnering with Diesel and the Fast & Furious franchise has underscored that persona in film after film, both at home and abroad.