A multi-part webisode series produced by BBDO and directed by Tony Scott (director of Top Gun and brother of Ridley Scott).Â The Dodge Ram Challenge is essentially a reality show where four two-person teams compete in a series of four races in new Dodge Ram pickups.Â The teams are each composed of men from a single profession: contractors, cowboys, firemen and military.Â The races involve extreme challenges of the sort often seen on television advertising – except that they are navigated in stock Dodge Rams with real people driving.Â The campaign is viewable by webisodes but Chrysler is using significant advertising to drive traffic, including a major presence on NFL football.
Brands can create and distribute interesting content without tv networks when they spend the time and money to get top talent.Â Brand-based reality television has been done before (Brawny Academy by Fallon, for one), but Tony Scott and BBDO take it to another level with the Dodge Ram Challenge.Â Scott understands that small touches create the atmosphere for real drama and he adds the sleek black military-style chase helicopters, pump-action shotgun as a starter pistol and a variety of scary-looking challenges to this series.Â As with any webisode, only a fraction of the Ram purchase demographic will ever view the series.Â But Dodge realizes that brand recognition is not really the game here: they are looking to convince people already contemplating a purchase to take the next step, which is no small task during a recession.Â The Dodge Ram Challenge also helps the brand build authenticity against its key rival – the new Ford F150.
You really have to enjoy reality television to appreciate this series.Â Dodge also took the risk that they’d be filming on of their vehicle drop an axle or be demolished altogether.Â While they might have elected not to show this footage, news of its existence would certainly have leaked. So this was a high-stakes gamble in more ways than one.
Branding Bottom Line:
Dodge boosts our testosterone just as the economy drains our wallet.