ATLANTA - As the end of the century approaches, Chrysler Corp. will loop back almost 50 years to establish an identity for its all-new 300M sedan.
Chrysler started running four 15-second teaser spots for the 300M last week. They feature footage from TV commercials for the first 300 car in 1955, with Chrysler's chief engineer at the time, Bob Rodger, as the pitchman.
Chrysler is trying to tell buyers that among the Big 3 it was thought to have some of the best-engineered cars on the market.
The performance pitch will help the company establish an identity for the 300M that appeals to entrepreneurial, nonconventional individualists who often prefer imported luxury cars.
The company believes 300M buyers are either tired of or would not even consider owning a sport-utility. The reason? Sport-utilities have a rough ride and no style.
The teaser ads will run through May, when the cars go on sale and Chrysler begins phase two of its advertising campaign.
Bozell Inc., Chrysler's ad agency, also has created one 60-second and four 30-second TV commercials that will run from June through September. They tout the 300M's performance attributes.
There is also a six-page magazine advertising insert that will run in the June issues of publications such as Cigar Aficionado, a magazine that celebrates the latest thing for the hip to do - smoke cigars.
Part of Chrysler's national marketing strategy is to say the 300M is more car for the money than luxury imports.
Chrysler features the 300M's base price, $28,885, in the national advertising. Pricing is normally reserved for regional dealer group advertising.
Susan Thomson, Chrysler-Plymouth's national advertising communications executive, says the car has more horsepower and torque than the BMW M3, the Lexus GS 300 and the Mercedes-Benz E320.
To get a car with a comparable engine, Chrysler will tell consumers that they will have to spend from $10,000 to $30,000 more than for the 300M.