Monday, November 24, 2014

Dodge's 100th Anniversary Campaign: What Works & Doesn't

Dodge celebrated its 100th anniversary in the best way an auto brand probably can: with centennial editions of certain makes of cars. Its TV ads grabbed me during the summer, the ones in which old Dodges morph into new models on wide country roads. Now that Dodge's total business anniversary and corporate storytelling campaign is five months old, what works and what doesn't?

Core message: consistent. "The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year as America’s mainstream performance brand, celebrating its 100th anniversary on July 1, 2014. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every single model it offers." "Tearing into" and "purification" are odd ways to put this core message of "Focused on Its Performance Roots," and you have to be a Car Guy or Gal to groove on the SRT part. But Dodge carries through the message consistently, and they unveiled it right on time, which means that they started early. These are two basic essentials that every company can emulate, even the smallest business.

Web timeline: tough to navigate. I think it's time to retire so-called parallax timelines, and I say that as someone who has written and project-managed a few myself. The layers are just plain clunky. Dodge's timeline is divided into nine chronological chunks, but each one is sprawling. I'd rather browse an e-book ... they provide a much tidier container.

YouTube videos: fun to watch. I'm a sucker for the historical simulations of the brothers Dodge ("Their spirit lives"), but to my surprise I also enjoyed the "Don't Touch My Dart" spots. Obviously I'm not alone, since the various videos have collectively racked up millions of views. 

Media information: sprawling. Reams of PDF downloads include 20-page chronologies, 37-page lists of Centennial events, and brand overviews, many of them divided into past, present, and future . . . again, this is why books are much neater containers. But kudos to Dodge for archiving, organizing, and making public this vital info.