Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Plays Host to the Young with Energetic Eagle Marketing Plan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Plays Host to the Young with Energetic Eagle Marketing Plan

Article excerpt

ATLANTA _ In-line skating clinics, toll-free phone lines and art workshops don't seem to have a lot to do with buying a car.

But they do, according to the folks at Eagle, Chrysler's newest brand of cars.

Each is a way for the carmaker to begin a one-to-one relationship with a potential buyer, to increase name recognition and to get its cars in front of consumers.

The consumers Eagle considers its market niche are young, independent-minded, educated and affluent _ baby boomers and their younger brothers and sisters, Generation X.

They are, according to Eagle Public Relations Manager Lori McTavish, people who like experiencing life rather than watching it, people who like trying new things.

It was for just these kinds of people that Eagle hosted an Eagle Encounter last month at Atlanta's Colony Square.

For several hours around lunchtime, the automaker entertained Midtown office workers with a jazz band, a hands-on art demonstration, a skating clinic and other activities.

Also on hand were a couple of Eagle Talons and Visions, parked and ready for anyone who wanted to kick a tire, sit behind a steering wheel or compare trunk room.

Circulating among the crowd were Eagle employees _ including Ed Brust, general manager of Chrysler's Jeep and Eagle division _ dressed in black polo shirts embroidered with the Eagle logo and ready to ask people's opinions about the cars or answer their questions.

There were even a couple of cellular phones available, in case anyone wanted to call for an appointment to test-drive a car.

It didn't take long to find out why Eagle thinks it needs to improve its brand recognition.

One young woman climbed into the leather-upholstered back seat of a Vision, looked around admiringly and said "Who makes Eagle, anyway?"

Owners like their Eagles, Brust said. What they don't like is continually being asked, "What is it?"

Eagle hopes to stop those questions with its 1995 marketing campaign, the Eagle Test Drive.

The idea came from a committee of dealers, and the test-drive theme will be repeated over and over as Eagle tries to make its ads "break out of the clutter" of commercials, Brust said. …

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