DETROIT -- Dodge Charger advertising will stress muscle-car performance, style and value.
Dodge is shipping the vehicle to dealerships now. Dealer orders total 26,800 units, the company said last week.
The Charger's biggest job is rebuilding Dodge's image as a carmaker, says Darryl Jackson, vice president of Dodge marketing. Last year, trucks represented 78 percent of Dodge's U.S. sales.
Jackson cites company research showing that 70 percent of people recall the Charger name from the American muscle-car era and associate the name with Dodge.
TV commercials began with two 30-second spots last week. Two more spots break Tuesday, May 24, and June 1. Print ads will be launched in July.
Dodge will not disclose spending. The three-month Charger launch campaign will cost an estimated $60 million, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News.
The Charger interactive Internet campaign is Dodge's most ambitious, says Fred Diaz, director of Dodge marketing communications.
Dodge also is taking the Charger to the streets of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York and Washington.
Twice an hour, actors will assemble a life-sized Dodge Charger, pit-stop-style. The Charger is a production model broken down into modules and re-assembled on the street, a Chrysler spokesman says. The modules will be taken from a model box that recalls the era of toy car kits. After each assembly, the Charger will be driven away.