Gate-crashing Chrysler

July 12, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

DETROIT -- Chrysler Corp. will be crashing some of the country's fanciest parties this fall to show off its new line of family sedans to sophisticated, upscale car buyers, many of whom who haven't set foot in a Chrysler dealership in years.

Despite plans for a record $70 million advertising campaign, Chrysler officials admit it won't be easy to persuade these import devotees to look at the new LH cars.

No problem, though. Chrysler will do the next best thing: It will take the cars to their favorite hangouts -- charity cocktail parties, museums, symphony concerts, even cruise ships.

"Look at our target audience -- they're exactly the people who go to these kinds of events," said Mike Coughlin, merchandising manager for Chrysler's Jeep-Eagle division.

By parking the cars in museum lobbies, concert halls and on ship decks, Chrysler hopes to draw the attention of erudite crowds nibbling shrimp and sipping champagne.

To help spread word-of-mouth endorsements, the company will also offer to lend new cars for a few days to up to 10,000 business leadersand celebrities -- anyone whose opinion carries weight with car shoppers.

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