• New Chrysler campaign Ask Dr. Z


For the first time since the merger of the former Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation, Chrysler Group is communicating the consumer benefits of the best of American and German engineering and design built into every Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicle in a new corporate ad campaign.

Chrysler Group revealed its unprecedented campaign today and introduced its new spokesperson, DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. The multifaceted “Ask Dr. Z” campaign launches July 1 and focuses on the innovative design, quality, reliability, performance and fuel economy of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles today.

The campaign launch coincides with the beginning of an Employee Pricing Plus summer sales program. Also unprecedented, the program includes employee pricing for all customers plus zero percent financing for 36 months on most models when financed through Chrysler Financial plus the option to return the vehicle within 30 days if not satisfied. Or, in lieu of special financing, customers may choose to receive employee pricing, cash back up to $3,500 and the 30-day Return Program.

“We wanted to communicate in a memorable way how our unique heritage sets us apart from our competitors and provides real benefits to our customers,” said Tom LaSorda, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group.

“Dieter is the ideal spokesperson for the company we are now. He put us on the path to be competitive with the best in the world by combining the great strengths of two historic companies to benefit our customers.”

The “Ask Dr. Z” campaign includes television, radio, print, online, in-dealership and customer relationship marketing media components and guerilla marketing tactics (mobile billboards, aerial banners, street teams), as well as targeting the NASCAR fan community.

The campaign begins July 1 with 60-second and 30-second tri-brand television spots that will air on network and cable television, including primetime, late night, news and sports programming. A minivan spot and four ads – for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles – will begin running shortly thereafter.

Tri-branded, four-color, two-page ads will appear in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Parade and USA Weekend national newspapers, and four-color magazine spreads will run in news and entertainment weeklies, including Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, People, Sports Illustrated, US Magazine and Entertainment Weekly.

A special “Ask Dr. Z” paint scheme, featuring Dr. Zetsche’s image and the www.AskDrZ.com URL, will adorn the hood and side of the No. 9 and No. 19 Dodge Charger race cars (driven by Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield, respectively) at the July 1 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway and the July 16 New England 300 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Mayfield’s No. 19 Dodge will carry the Ask Dr. Z paint scheme July 9 at the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The www.AskDrZ.com URL will appear in all advertising, encouraging consumers to write to ask their own questions about the American and German engineering and design built into all Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

Ads also will run in local newspapers and on radio stations in the Top 50 markets, including African American and Hispanic papers and radio stations.

Interactive advertising includes AOL, MSN and Yahoo!

As Chrysler Group CEO from 2000-2005, Zetsche coined the phrase “Disciplined Pizzazz” to describe the unique blending of key strengths from Mercedes – engineering and technology – (the “discipline”) with the key strengths of Chrysler – American engineering and styling innovation (the “pizzazz”).

“In addition to the potential for melding expertise and skill sets,” Zetsche said, “the merger also brought the opportunity to leverage the vast global resources of DaimlerChrysler in our product development efforts. And, today you see the synthesis of DaimlerChrysler strengths and resources – the ‘Disciplined Pizzazz’ – embodied in the new generation of Chrysler Group products.”

TV Commercial Descriptions

The “Ask Dr. Z” campaign demonstrates the fact that two great companies (Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation) came together to give consumers the best in American and German engineering and design. And today, consumers are seeing the result – innovative designs with great quality and reliability, performance and improved fuel economy.

Each of the TV spots in the new campaign will sign off with a variation of the tagline, “Experience the best in American and German engineering and design. Get employee pricing, plus zero percent financing on 2006 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. If not satisfied, simply return it within 30 days.”

“Ask Dr. Z”

This 60-second Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge TV spot opens with Zetsche as he is stopped by an eager reporter who asks, “What have been the benefits of the merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler?”

In a hurry, Zetsche (“Dr. Z”) tells the reporter to get in his Dodge Charger R/T. As Dr. Z drives off to a test track, he calmly answers the question by detailing how some of the key components in the hottest Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles were designed in Germany; all this as the Charger flies around the test track, making the reporter a bit nervous. Next, they move into a Jeep Commander as Dr. Z balances the vehicle on a simulated off-road course, and then into the all-new Dodge Caliber, all the while, simultaneously talking about improved fuel economy. The pair moves into a Chrysler Pacifica, which speeds down the long runway of an official crash test track. After the Pacifica crashes into the test barrier and the air bags safely inflate, Dr. Z calmly checks the time on his watch and asks the disheveled reporter if he has “any more questions?”

This spot also will be produced as a 30-second version following the same storyline.


In this 30-second Chrysler and Dodge TV spot, Dr. Z reads an e-mail from a consumer, Kim, asking about the quality of Chrysler and Dodge minivans.

The spot cuts to Dr. Z at a soccer field with a Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. He demonstrates the Stow ’n Go® seating and storage system, pointing out to Kim that both minivans are five-star crash-test rated. Finding a J.D. Power trophy in one of the Town & Country storage bins, he notes that the Town & Country received “J.D. Power & Associates award for the highest-ranked van in initial quality."

A second, Chrysler-only version of “Trophy” also will be produced.

“Field Trip”

In this 30-second Jeep brand TV spot, Dr. Z answers a letter written to him. Next thing you know, Dr. Z has assembled the entire elementary school class at the Jeep proving grounds for a field trip. Dr. Z explains that American and German engineering and design are helping to improve fuel economy. He refers to three muddy Jeep vehicles behind him as “our cleanest” 4x4s ever. The irony is lost on the kids, who seem to focus on his moustache instead.


In this 30-second Dodge TV spot, Dr. Z answers a letter asking him if " ... Dodge trucks are more than just HEMIs?” Next, you see Dr. Z. walking toward the camera explaining the advanced design and technology on the new Dodge Ram and Durango as those two vehicles perform precision driving maneuvers in the background. Dr. Z is then surrounded by a slew of trucks and buses from the DaimlerChrysler family, including Freightliner, Sterling, a Setra bus, a Sprinter passenger van, a Ram Chassis Cab with Stake Bed, a Ram Mega Cab Dually, a Dakota Quad Cab®, a Ram Chassis Cab with dump box, a Sprinter cargo van, a Thomas Built school bus, and a Western Star. Dr. Z asks, “What would you expect from the world’s largest producer of commercial vehicles?” Next, a voice unexpectedly yells, “Cut!” and the viewer realizes Dr. Z was filming a commercial with the HEMI® guy as director.


In this 30-second Chrysler TV spot, Dr. Z reads a letter in his office from John, asking “Is there really German technology in my Chrysler 300C?” Next, you see Dr. Z walking up John’s driveway with a mechanic’s jack and creeper board. Dr. Z slides underneath John’s 300C and promptly dismantles the five-link rear suspension system. He explains to John that this suspension “is only one example of the best of American and German engineering and design."

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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