Fiat celebrates Aung San Suu Kyi's release in latest Nobel spot

By David Kiley on Fri Nov 19 2010

A year ago, Chrysler and Fiat chief marketing executive Olivier Francois drew fire in the U.S. for running an ad shot at the 10th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The ad, which showed Fiat's Lancia vehicles, also featured the Chrysler 300 sedan, as well as focusing the viewer on the plight of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned in Burma. Francois wasn't drawing criticism in some published news reports and blogs for using the imprisonment of pro-democracy San Suu Kyi to sell cars, but for using an Italian ad agency to make the ad just months after taking a U.S. taxpayer bailout and firing longtime U.S. agency BBDO.
  Flash forward one year. Francois had Italian agency Armando Testa shoot another ad at the 11th annual summit in Hiroshima, Japan, earlier this month. The ad was meant to, again, spotlight the plight of San Suu Kyi. While in flight between Detroit and San Francisco, though, Francois got an e-mail from the Burmese foreign minister alerting him to the fact the San Suu Kyi would soon be released. The ad was then edited to turn it into a celebratory spot (above), with Francois dictating the edits from his flight.

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Chrysler's enormous aerial Dodge banner crashes back to Earth

By David Kiefaber on Thu Oct 7 2010

The only thing more wickedly entertaining than watching big ad stunts fail is watching them fail while dropping from a helicopter. The latter situation befell (pun intended) Chrysler last Friday at the Texas State Fair, when the pilot in charge of hauling a 53,000-square-foot Dodge Ram banner pulled the emergency release and sent it crashing to the ground. Chrysler's intent was twofold: It wanted to break a world record held by the UAE's 50,000-square-foot flag banner, and also break GM's marketing stranglehold on the fair. If this were The Price Is Right, they'd be playing the Sad Horn right now. The best part, though, is that the FAA canceled Chrysler's second attempt to fly the banner, so they couldn't even redeem themselves. Not that anyone will really care—buying a car is full of so many weird intangibles, and one banner mishap isn't going to hurt anything. But it does play into the larger narrative of the company's haplessness. It also means GM shouldn't lose any sleep over its pole position at the Texas State Fair. Via Jalopnik.

Chrysler's Peapod challenges Smart Car to an eco-friendly duel

Posted on Wed Jan 14 2009


Move over, Smart Car. There's a new electric vehicle hitting the road this year called the Peapod, and it comes with "lots of love" for Mother Earth.
  Introduced last September by Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), the Peapod is touted as being gas-free and emission-free. Did I mention it's battery-operated? The long-lost cousin of Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle is intended for riding around the neighborhood, to school or to work. The car is round like a pea and has iPod integration, thus (I'm assuming) the clever name. Plus, it looks like it's smiling—a marvel of modern design.
  You've got to give GEM props for trying to contribute to a greener planet. But even though it's meant for urban living, I can't see driving one of these things in a place like New York. The taxicabs, buses and delivery trucks there would eat the Peapod for lunch.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina



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