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Trailhawk ad campaign blazes a trail for Jeep Compass

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on August 02, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is keen to deliver the right message and conquer new territories

Eight commercials released as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) digital and social media strategy before the Super Bowl this year aggregated a record 169 million-plus views online. The Jeep advertisement, ‘More Than Just Words’, was shared over two lakh times across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In its new ad campaign for the Jeep Compass Trailhawk unveiled in India, FCA is clearly eager to conquer new territory. The core ingredient that makes the SUV stand out as a capable off-roader has been showcased in the new campaign.

As has the coveted ‘Trail Rated’ badge, a global benchmark for superior off-roading capabilities. Trail rated Jeeps were first introduced in 2004 to signify which Jeep vehicles were trail-worthy. The ad campaign, ‘Superior by Nature’, has been conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett India and taps into Jeep’s storied brand philosophy. Rajdeepak Das, MD, India and Chief Creative Officer, South Asia, says the Trail Rated badge on any vehicle in the Jeep Brand stable “is truly a badge of honour, bearing testimony to the ultimate capability of the vehicle; thus making the Compass TrailHawk the best in the Jeep Compass range today.”

The five criteria that each vehicle is rigorously tested and evaluated on in order to bag the badge include vehicle traction, manoeuvrability, ground clearance, water fording and off-road articulation.

A class apart

Das says the brief from the company was to create a visual representation setting the magnificent beauty as a class apart. “Be it the everyday tarmac, all the way to tough challenges with snow, sand, mud or rock, the Compass Trailhawk is literally unstoppable. That is exactly what our campaign represents,” he adds. The advertisement quite literally captures the manifestation of the phrase “as the bird flies” and has a hawk emerging from the shadows and soaring atop hills and green glades effortlessly scanning the horizon juxtaposed against the Jeep and its powerful all-terrain capabilities, fluid and graceful as a bird in flight.

“This capable SUV and the fiercest bird of prey, the Hawk complement each other perfectly,” says Das. “Putting these two parts together and adding the backdrop of a haunting music score we came up with the stunning montage of two majestic entities matching each other, move for move.”

Rahul Pansare, CMO, FCA India points out the Trailhawk has the soul of the fiercest bird of prey, and is a befitting metaphor for how the SUV moves. Incidentally, music has underlain many of FCA’s advertising campaigns and last year’s ‘Summer of Jeep’ employed the American pop rock brand, OneRepublic, to highlight its year-long collaboration with Apple Music and CarPlay. The visual poetry in FCA’s new commercial is meant to be a medium to connect with an active, adventurous audience, for the brand believes advertising has evolved to be far more about the audience and less about specific devices or technology channels.

Brand positioning

Ad experts point out the brand positioning has been maintained in the campaign. Subbu Turimella, Senior VP of Publicis Sapient, says FCA has had the first mover advantage by introducing affordable SUVs in the Indian market. Kevin Flynn, President and Managing Director, FCA India, says the Jeep Trailhawk is the first Trail Rated SUV made in India. “While FCA offers the 4x4 Jeep Compass models in the range, it’s the Trailhawk that is positioned right at the pinnacle for its superior 4x4 off-road capability,” he says.

According to Flynn, the Trailhawk variant has been extensively tested for over 4,00,000 km across various terrains and weather conditions along with different qualities of fuel. “The Trailhawk really delivers capability and exclusivity for our Indian customers,” he says.

Jeep Compass has been the best piece of news for FCA India for a long, long while. The company has been around for decades and, in its earlier avatar as Fiat, had brief successes with the Uno and Palio. It was only after the acquisition of Chrysler that the Jeep brand has now ended up becoming its biggest growth engine. India is among the select manufacturing locations for Jeep Compass where its right-hand-drive version is shipped out to a host of markets worldwide.

Published on August 02, 2019

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