Now being marketed as a performance brand, Dodge is planning to offer three high-powered halo vehicles and new advertising targeted towards younger buyers to make sales keep on coming this year. In May last year, Dodge’s role as FCA US’s full-range brand was shifted to Chrysler, which means that its brand head Tim Kuniskis has to replace sales of the discontinued Avenger sedan and the soon-to-be-discarded Grand Caravan minivan.
Kuniskis is changing Dodge advertising to let out a message of invincibility and fun of youth, which means the focus will be on horsepower and performance.
To highlight those features, Dodge will use the 707-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat, Charger SRT Hellcat and the 645-hp Viper. According to Kuniskis, the buzz that the brand built around the rollout of its refreshed Charger and Challenger as well as its other marketing efforts helped it become the most-searched auto brand on Google for three months in 2014.
He noted that Dodge was the third most-searched auto brand on Google for 2014, next to Ford and Jeep. Dodge’s TV spots suddenly became more energetic, with reality-TV star Richard Rawlings taking over last summer.
As part of its 100th anniversary, Dodge is touting its roots in John and Horace Dodge, with spots casting the brothers as high-spirited millionaire playboy inventors.
According to Kuniskis, the centennial in 2014 allowed the brand to "push the envelope" to tell the Dodge Brothers story and relate it to the present day. He remarked that the were successful in changing people’s perception of Dodge.