While admitting to having helped launch a few turkeys over the years, Martin Levine took a look back to make the Chrysler 300M a marketing and sales star.
Levine, general manager of the Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep Division, has gone back to the early 1960s to come up with a campaign for the late 1990s. And it is working. The car has met the first-year sales goal of 60,000 units and would have exceeded that if not for production constraints.
'We still don't know how high `high' is,' Levine said.
Sales, obviously, are important to the corporate bottom line. But the biggest success of the 300M may be in helping redefine the Chrysler brand.
To reach the mostly male target audience, Chrysler and agency Bozell Worldwide of Southfield, Mich., looked back to its 300 series, built from 1955 until 1965. The first TV spots for the 300M are built around footage shot in 1961 on a Florida beach and featuring Bod Rodger, then chief engineer of Chrysler Corp.
'Near-term purchase intent has been increasing every month since we launched it,' Levine said. 'It has got the best `first choice preference' of any car in its class.'