automotive

Chrysler Brand Perception Rises Post-Eastwood, Eminem

Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2012 01:51 PM

There's nothing like robust sales and some good, old-fashioned TV commercials to bolster a brand's perception with the public. That's exactly what's been happening lately with Chrysler, according to YouGov's Brand Index.

Some worried that Chrysler would have a difficult time finding the right positioning after its 2011 Super Bowl-originated "Imported from Detroit" theme ran its course, especially without a reprise by Clint Eastwood of his role in the company's halftime commercial during the 2012 Super Bowl.

But judging by the feedback to YouGov, it appears as if Chrysler might have waited too long to move past Eminem, Dirty Harry, gritty images of downtrodden Detroit, and its vehicles in the midst of it all.

Turns out that Chrysler's new fleet of four TV spots — each of which bolsters an important bit of positioning for one of its four brands — have been all but magical in lifting the perception of the individual auto brands and Chrysler as a whole among those who've seen them.

"This is about the highest point that Chrysler has been at for brand perception in several years," Ted Marzilli, global managing director of YouGov's BrandIndex, told the Detroit Free Press. "It tends to show positive momentum for the brand."

Apparently the ads help consumers focus on why they really might want to buy a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram instead of just root for Chrysler as a corporate participant in the U.S. auto industry and partial savior of Motown. The vignettes about the struggles of real Americans helped give Chrysler the highest opinion numbers for any of Detroit's Big Three automaker in three years.

There's also the increasing drumbeat of new products out of Chrysler these days, including the 2013 Dodge Dart unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, as well as new versions of the Fiat 500 being sold by Chrysler dealers.

And, of course, Chrysler vehicles have been selling like hotcakes lately, with sales up by 30 percent and more from a year earlier for each of the first three months of 2012.

That's the kind of brand success consumers can get comfortable associating with.

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