Friday, July 13, 2012

Analysis of Chrysler Crossfire ads

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Chrysler, as most companies, creates ads for specific audiences. This is a science. Advertisement firms know where and how consumers will see their ads and adjust them effectively. This process is outlined and displayed by the analysis of the two separate Chrysler Crossfire ads below.

The first ad I analyzed is found in GQ Magazine, a men’s equivalent of women fashion magazines. It stands out because it is printed on a thicker paper. The ad is split into three black and white pictures in a tri-fold format. The front picture is blurry and undefined. You can barely make out that it is a photograph of a car. The middle picture is of a car driving down a rural dirt road. It appears that the car is driving fast because of the dust billowing behind it. The car is solitary. There are no other cars or buildings in sight. It is surrounded by dark empty fields. The back picture is an extreme close-up depicting the rear end of the car. It appears there is condensation on the spoiler giving the impression that it has just rained.

The front page makes a written statement “Precision engineered to make your right foot twitch.” This statement is continued to the inside section “and your mouse roar.” The inside also contains the word “Chrysler”, its catch phrase “drive and love,” and its emblem in an enlarged font. This emblem is the only part of the entire tri-fold ad that is in color. It is gold and red and stands out bold in the middle of the page. It separates the white sky, and the dark ground. Also included in the inside section of the ad is “drive and love” and “the Chrysler Crossfire, dreamed in America, crafted in Germany.” The back ad tells where you can obtain information about Chrysler.


The second ad is part of the cover of the New Yorker magazine, which is a magazine of politics, reviews, and current events for the rich and educated. This ad is also in a black and white tri-fold format. The front page shows a factory worker holding a partially assembled car door. The worker is a middle-aged Caucasian male. He is wearing goggles and an apron and has little to no facial expression. The worker and car door are pictured in great detail while the background is fuzzy and undefined. The inside page is a well-defined photo of the car a side shot allowing for greater detail of the car. You are able to see the teardrop layout of the lights, and the large custom rims with which it is equipped. It is a sleek two-door car with a dome-shaped roof. The car sits on a paved road in a barren location; perhaps in the desert. There appears to be storm clouds gathering in the distance. The back page has no writing or real images connecting it to the rest of the ad. It is a photograph of a person welding with sparks flying around him. He is wearing a protective helmet and gloves. It is a much darker picture with bright white sparks. You cannot make out what angle the picture is taken from, the setting, or the details of the figure. Actually, you can barely discern anything.

The front page makes the statement “you wouldn’t be the first person to care deeply about your Chrysler Crossfire.” The middle ad has four statements. The top left corner says “produced in limited quantities. So each one receives the attention it deserves. Drive and love.” The top left says “Dreamed in America. Crafted in Germany.” The bottom left states the warranty info as well as the $4,45.00 suggested retail price.

The ad in GQ Magazine targets a younger, more impressionable audience. The first page of the advertisement shows a fast-moving car. Its speed is such that the car is unrecognizable. The suggestion here is that the customer needs to know little about this vehicle beyond its dazzling dexterity. The sensuality of power will clearly appeal to the attractive young women desired by the readers of this magazine. The second centerfold page, a focused, but distant photo of the car driving away, reinforces that a GQ reader needs to know very little about this luxury vehicle. Again, speed is shown by the cloud of dust following the car. The final page of the ad is an extreme closeup displaying the rear end of the car, particularly the spoiler. The spoiler appears to have condensation as if after a long hard drive, the car is sweating. This makes reference to a libido act or, rather the moment after one.

The ad displays the following quote “precision engineered to make your right foot twitch and your mouse roar.” Twitching and roaring would appear to be thinly veiled sexual references. Driving, or perhaps more significantly being a passenger in, this car is subtly implied to be orgasmic. Although precision engineering would superficially appear to be a status cue, the sexual association of fine machinery is a major aesthetic totem in our culture. Just think of the old James Bond movies. James Bond was always portrayed as the “lady’s man.” This was not only a product of his good looks and mannerisms, but was as much a result of his popular and unique mechanical devices. The inferences of sexual nature are reinforced by the imagery of this ad the quick glimpse of the car on the front page and the distant photo on the second page. This method of imagery leaves the audience wondering if the car is playing hard to get.

People who read the New Yorker, where the second ad is located, are generally successful and educated. The photo of a worker assembling the car shows the time, dedication and detail that goes into every individual car. This is obviously very time consuming and expensive. The pictures of the car being hand-crafted leads the potential consumer to believe that this car is not machine made. This is important to our target consumer because they want to know that it took a craftsman time and energy to make their car. The ad has a much greater effect of creating the image and status of the car than selling the features of the car. The target consumer is much more interested in what others think of the car than the actual performance and quality. This is supported by the lack of performance ratings, safety descriptions and other useful features given on the ad. This is also supported by the above average cost which is listed on the ad and the fact that the ad specifies it is produced in limited quantities.

The quote “Dreamed in America, crafted in Germany” is included in both ads. This quote finds a simple, yet convincing solution to recall decades of backlash against imported cars. With the post /11 economy and a more politically and economically aware consumer, asserting that the car was “Dreamed in America” makes the consumer more comfortable with buying a foreign imported vehicle. At the same time, to the contrast, asserting the car was “crafted in Germany” gives a long supported history of fine automobiles.

In order for the Chrysler company to appeal to a maximum amount of consumers, it must look at the varying purchasing power of the consumer pool. This is an essential element in choosing many effective mediums of advertizing. The Chrysler ads are designed for appeal to separate consumer groups. GQ Magazine strives to appeal to a younger, upcoming business class of men. To the contrast, the mixed sex audience of the New Yorker generally represents an older, more financially sustained consumer group.

Not only must Chrysler consider purchasing power but consumer motivation. What does the vehicle offer that will satisfy personal goals or fill a previous void? It can be presumed that the GQ male is unmarried, searching to be recognized as desirable partners. The GQ male is not only single, but also, more importantly, he is a young male who is career oriented. He is looking for a vehicle that reinforces the image he wishes to project. Power, politics and prestige are priorities of the average “New Yorker” magazine reader. It can be presumed that the pursuit of the opposite sex is no longer a priority. Quality and exclusivity are the highest markers on the reader’s social and economic totems. A “New Yorker” doesn’t only need a vehicle to success but a vehicle of success.

Upon conclusion, I release the significance of the relationship between the two advertisements is to market dual audiences. From sexual connotations, to implied elitism, Chrysler finds inventive and subtle ways of appealing to its desired consumers.

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