DETROIT -- Jeep today unveiled a new advertising campaign touting the made-in-America craftsmanship of the 2011 Grand Cherokee.
The ads, created by the Portland, Ore., ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, kick off a new tag line for the Jeep brand: “The things we make, make us.”
The first spot airs tomorrow on prime time programs on ABC and CBS. On Saturday, the spot will be shown on an array of network shows including ABC’s “20-20” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
The spot will be aired widely until mid-July, when the second phase of the marketing campaign begins, said Dianna Gutierrez, a Chrysler Group spokeswoman. She declined to say how much Chrysler is spending.
The ads are part of what she called a comprehensive ad campaign for the Grand Cherokee, including TV, print, Internet and event marketing.
Chrysler executives have acknowledged how critical the Grand Cherokee launch is to the company’s future. It is the first new vehicle to come out since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy last June under the control of Italian carmaker Fiat S.p.A.
The TV spot features shots of American industry -- a steam train crossing a bridge, historical shots of factories and workers inside, the Empire State Building, the Wright brothers in flight and Jeeps coming off the assembly line during World War II.
A male voiceover says: “The things that make us Americans are the things we make. This has always been a nation of builders, craftsmen. Men and women for whom straight stitches and clean welds were matters of personal pride. They made the skyscrapers and the cotton gins. Colt revolvers, Jeep 4-by-4s.”
The voiceover continues: “As a people, we do well when we make good things, and not so well when we don’t. The good news is, this can be put right. We just have to do it. And so we did. This, our newest son, was imagined, drawn, carved, stamped, hewn and forged here in America. It is well-made and it is designed to work.”
Jeep CEO Michael Manley said the campaign has been “carefully designed to communicate the brand’s commitment to American craftsmanship, the return of personal pride and dedication to producing a vehicle that is truly well-made and beautifully designed.”
The Grand Cherokee is manufactured at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
Wieden+Kennedy, the ad agency most famous for its Nike commercials, is handling only the Grand Cherokee account among Jeep’s nameplates. Wieden+Kennedy got the business when Chrysler shook up its agency roster a month ago.
In the reshuffling, GlobalHue was assigned to handle “multicultural strategies” for Chrysler Group. GlobalHue remains the lead agency for the Jeep brand, while Wieden+Kennedy handles Dodge.
Wieden+Kennedy already has drawn attention to Dodge with a Super Bowl commercial this year that received both praise and barbs. It depicted a series of men with resigned expressions for whom the Dodge Charger is apparently an escape from stifling relationships.