Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Takes Unusual Steps to Market Neon

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Takes Unusual Steps to Market Neon

Article excerpt

NEW YORK _ Chrysler Corp. will use some unusual couriers to help carry the message as it launches its Neon automobile on an ambitious effort to claim a sizeable share of the subcompact car market.

In addition to traditional media outlets like network TV, magazines and billboards, Neon's marketers are using novel approaches like a video game, a music video, health club kiosks and ticket envelopes to pitch the new cars.

Chrysler wants to reach an estimated 45 million young adults who collectively are the biggest buyers of subcompacts, a segment of the business that Chrysler has been absent from since the mid-1980s.

But this group, which marketers have tagged Generation X, are believed to be more difficult to reach through traditional television and print media than previous generations were.

Arthur C. "Bud" Liebler, vice president of marketing and communications for Chrysler, said Chrysler plans to spend more than $50 million on marketing the Neon in its first year in production.

He said as much as 20 percent of the budget would be spent in nontraditional media to support the Neon, or about double the percentage usually diverted to such promotional efforts.

Liebler outlined Chrysler's marketing plans for the Neon at a briefing for reporters. He also previewed commercials that will begin running Feb. 12 and will appear frequently on the CBS telecasts of the Winter Olympics.

The company bought two minutes of commercial time just before and during the Super Bowl telecast last month to give viewers a sneak preview of the car which will be sold for as little as $9,000 but which is expected to go more typically for $12,500 including options.

Liebler expects to sell 270,000 to 300,000 of the cars this year. That would give Chrysler more than a 10 percent share of the subcompact market, which other Chrysler officials said totaled more than 2 million sales in 1993. …

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