Chrysler Canada

Chrysler. Founded by Walter Chrysler in 1925. One of the best known automotive brands in the world.
My challenge; Re-create the perception of an automotive giant to appeal to a younger market.

The Project

Re-create the perception of an automotive giant to appeal to a younger market. It was a good challenge. In less than two years, we helped change the perception of Chrysler to attract a much younger demographic through the use of clean European-oriented design, clever iconography, classic use of white space and quirky billboards, which were anything but what Chrysler had done previously.


The Chrysler Brochures

The first project I was asked to work on for Chrysler was their annual series of brochures for their line-up of vehicles. The opportunity to add a little European design flavour appealed to me, so I chose to keep the catalogues clean and use a lot of white space with tinted and spot varnishes to highlight features of the cars within each brochure.


The Wraparound Covers

Each original cover design featured limited snippets of the model car with a full beauty image on the back.

Apart from being beautifully photographed, our use of progressive printing techniques added a sense of exclusivity to the brand. The brochures themselves were excellent takeaways for interested parties to leave on their coffee tables as reminders of something which appealed to them.


The Photography

Apart from being beautifully photographed, our use of progressive printing techniques added a sense of exclusivity to the brand. The brochures themselves were excellent takeaways for interested parties to leave on their coffee tables as reminders of something which appealed to them.


The Advertising

Here is an example of how closely I followed my own branding guidelines - using clean bold square sections with minimal text and a large beauty shot as a featured image.

My goals was to shift the existing old style of Chrysler to a much more European style of design and the timing was right as Daimler Benz had become involved a year or so earlier and approved of the design.


The Full Line Brochure

Each year, a brochure which featured the entire Chrysler line-up was released. We treated each page as an advertisement, featuring a large beauty shot with a single bold headline emblazoned across the double page spread with minimal copy on the right with a call to action.


The Photography & Photoshop

Creating that sense of speed by blurring the backgrounds created the effects we wanted for the 2001 series. Initially, we tried to get this by pulling the vehicles and setting up a gyro-controlled camera on a tripod but technology won out and photoshop achieved what we could conceptualize.


The Fun Part

Yim got the chance to go out into the Ontario countryside and scout locations for us to shoot the cars. On this particular shot, we shot late in the fall at a park and the corner we wanted to shoot at had a park sign right where we all thought the best location was and we tried to jiggle the pole out so we could put it back but when I hip checked it, it was rotten and broke off at the base. We ended up having to replace the pole :-)


The 2001 Brochures

In 2001, the basic design concept continued as I used boxes withing the pages to create a visually interesting mixture of descriptive text and compelling snippets of images focused on certain features which were unique and beautifully styled.


Portrait Photography

Although the 2001 line up was photographed in the desert, several of the models were only available in Canada and we photographed those in Windsor at very carefully selected locations and worked very hard to match the angles and lighting which would allow us to integrate the Canadian vehicles into the photo... it turned out seamlessly.


The Solution & Result

Amid the bland midsize sedan segments, Chrysler instantly became a trendsetter with the launch of the PT Cruiser. The Cruiser’s flared fenders, sloping hood, and five-door body style mimicked the old sedans and panel trucks of the 1930s and 1940s. Its distinctive look inspired a slew of other "retro" styled creations and spawned an entire movement of retro. The launch was arguably the most successful in Canadian Automotive History and attracted the right target - young, urban and hip - as conceived by Steve Roper and Matt Daley, giving the brand a certain cachet with a traditionally atypical Chrysler audience.

Client Review

It was my privilege to have worked with Stephen Roper when I was General Manager of BBDO Canada’s dedicated automotive unit (then named PentaMark Worldwide Canada).
To put things in perspective: In late 1999, BBDO Worldwide acquired Ross Roy Communications (subsequently and temporarily re-branded as InterOne Marketing Group), and I was seconded to integrate the communications activities of both agencies, to best serve all of the business intelligence, strategic planning, creative development and media channel deployments for our client, Daimler Chrysler Canada.
Mr. Roper was Acting Creative Director at InterOne Marketing at the time, and his experience in multi-channel communications, combined with a visceral appreciation for client relations and consumer ‘triggers’ made him a highly valued member of the team, as we endeavored to build the first truly integrated, multi-disciplinary communications services consultancy in the Canadian industry. Without his help, we could not have made that happen.
Most importantly, he was eminently successful in delivering results.
In addition to raising our creative standards, he engineered one of the most well recognized new vehicle launch efforts in the history of Canadian automotive marketing… the 2000 Chrysler PT Cruiser.
Steve oversaw every element of the pre-launch activities. In the early days of internet marketing (1999), his wild-postings (dedicated ‘funky url’s) and on-street vehicle displays, drove more that 650,000 online requests for information prior to product launch… a resounding success, even in today’s terms… which was further enhanced by dealer events (tail-gate parties) that zeroed in on target, while demonstrating product versatilities.
As one might gather, I have great respect for, and confidence in, Mr. Roper’s craftsmanship and marketing savvy. I have no hesitation in recommending him as a valued addition to any team, in meeting any challenge that requires excellence.
I would be pleased to handle any and all enquiries about Steve. He is, without doubt, a credit to our craft.
-Jack Daley. President.
The Daley Group

-

Get in touch