Chrysler CMO François: “The top truck markets in the U.S. have large multicultural populations”

Car manufacturers have come back strongly as major marketers over the last few years. They have also been increasingly focusing on the Hispanic consumer (e.g. see Chevy’s Silverado). This is definitely also the case of Chrysler according to its CMO Olivier François. François, born in Paris (France) is also the CMO of Chrysler owned Fiat S.p.A. Portada  interviewed François, a speaker at  AHAA’s upcoming Annual Conference.

Olivier FrançoisFrançois tells Portada that what is great about his brands – Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Trucks and Fiat – is that “they each have a strong presence among Hispanics and represent significant sales opportunities in key segments.” Chrysler Group has specific multicultural marketing strategies for each brand and its individual vehicle nameplates. “We align these goals and objectives with each individual brand team, and then tailor our multicultural marketing and advertising campaigns to communicate with the target consumers for each brand or nameplate,” François adds. François points out that “one in three people in the U.S. today are multicultural and many of the largest U.S. cities today are already majority multicultural.” The challenge, according to Chrysler’s CMO, is to “continue to understand the lens through which consumers see brands and integrate cultural values and insights in our messages to connect emotionally.”

Hispanic Campaigns for Chrysler …

François highlights recent examples of Hispanic market campaigns  including Ram truck’s partnership with Juanes. “We launched a multi-phase Spanish-language campaign in November 2013, continuing with the “A Todo,, Con Todo” theme, and the final spot in the series “La Luz” (The Light) centered on Juanes and his road crew as they prepared the stage for his concert shows.” Interestingly François adds that  “the large pickup is the 3rd biggest segment among U.S. Latinos and the top truck markets in the United States have large multicultural populations.” (Major Hispanic markets also guide Chevy’s Silverado advertising campaigns: according to our recent interview with Maria Rohrer Director of Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet Trucks.)

Fiat has a legacy in Latin America and Latinos are 27% more likely to purchase small cars versus the total U.S. population.

François says that Chrysler is targeting Millenials for the Dodge Dart brand:“We’ve developed ads both in Spanish and English appealing to the young Millennial consumers while avoiding trans-creations. The most recent campaign with Pitbull, launched in 2013, included television, digital and print elements.” For the Jeep brand, a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee ad is featuring the poem in Spanish “Caminante” by Antonio Machado targeted to Hispanics. In addition, François notes that  “last  year we created an ad set in New Orleans illustrating stories of effort towards greatness in an authentic and meaningful way targeted for African-Americans.”

 and Fiat brands.

François  is also CMO of Chrysler owned CMO for  Fiat S.p.A, which in 2011  returned to the United States  after an absence of nearly three decades. The marketer asserts that Fiat has a strong legacy in Latin America which can positively impact the automakers brand perception among U.S. Hispanics: “Latinos are also a long-term sales opportunity for the Fiat brand. Fiat has a legacy in Latin America and Latinos are 27% more likely to purchase small cars versus the total U.S. population.” “Our Fiat campaigns with J-Lo and Charlie Sheen definitely put Fiat on the map and bought us in 18 months the awareness that it took other auto companies five to seven years to achieve. J-Lo’s endorsement, which was seen by some as a risk, grew Fiat’s brand awareness from 8% to 49% almost overnight. And Charlie Sheen, notorious in his own right, was the right pat the right time to put the spotlight on the sporty Abarth model. Today the top four Fiat markets in the United States are also top Hispanic markets, building off this momentum is critical.”

François will be one of the main speakers at AHAA’s upcoming Annual Conference “Thinking under the Influence” which will take place in Miami’s Eden Rock Hotel on April. 28-30.