Chrysler says Auf Wiedersehen to Dr. Z

On Friday, Reuters reported that Chrysler is putting an end to the Dr. Z spots many of us have been tormented by for the last couple months. A large frequency media buy with ads that were supposedly humerous but fell flat in the laughs department were part of a $225 million ad campaign by BBDO.

Chrysler said its "Ask Dr. Z" advertising campaign had achieved the company's intent of focusing consumer attention on the American and German engineering behind the company's cars.

But sales fell during the two months of the campaign and critics said the ads risked distracting attention from the automaker's summer sales efforts intended to clear out an inventory of unsold vehicles.

Somewhat amusingly, I came across this from

In addition, surveys conducted for Chrysler by national market research firms show many consumers are connecting with Zetsche, now chairman of DaimlerChrysler.

"The general reaction to the campaign and to Dr. Zetsche looks very positive," said Bob Coppola, vice president of Millward Brown Research Detroit, which surveyed 149 consumers, ranging in age from 25 to 75, who intended to buy a new vehicle within 90 days.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they enjoy the commercials, 70 percent like seeing the former Chrysler chief in the ads, and 74 percent say Zetsche should continue as Chrysler's spokesman.

That piece goes on to say that interest in the website and cars had increased during the run of the ad campaign. But then the major question still remains, if that is the case, why is it that the cars aren't moving off the lots?

Well, according to, there's some research that showed the ads weren't working as Chrysler claimed.

Eighty percent of consumers believed Dr. Z was a fictional character, according to CNW Marketing Research. And many were not swayed by the “german engineering” positioning. Even worse, some consumers missed the employee-discounting message that was part of most the commercials. 's recent article on the $225 million campaign stated that their U.S. sales were down 17% in July over last year as well as falling during the life of the campaign.

Chrysler is now going to move forward with a sales incentive-only campaign, focusing on zero-percent financing and some new vehicles for 2007.

DaimlerChryslerJeep - Dr Z/Crash Test(2006) 0:60 (USA)

DaimlerChrysler - Dr Z/German Technology (2006) 0:30 (USA)

DaimlerChrysler - Dr Z/Minivan (2006) 0:30 (USA)

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