Dodge’s 100th Year Ad Offers Appropriate Advice for All Ages

In a world where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest converge to share perfectly Photoshopped squares of beaches, sunsets and open fields with inspirational quotes superimposed on top; Dodge’s 2015 Challenger commercial comes as a refreshing change of pace.

The debut of the 2015 Dodge Charge, 2015 Dodge Challenger and the latest SRT Viper Package coincide with the brand’s 100th year, and the commercial definitely makes a case for the popular saying, “with age comes wisdom.”

To make its point, the commercial features a group of Centenarians (which shouldn’t be confused with Millennials—the number references can be a bit much), giving some solid advice they picked up during their 100 or so years on planet Earth: “live for now,” “there are miracles all around you,” “always tell the truth…” when, after a bout of devious (or was it pitying?) laughter, they start giving us the same type of advice that perhaps a high school football coach might give to his slacking players.  And solid advice it was, indeed.

Besides motivating us to “buck up” a bit, this ad got us thinking: who is the target audience of this advice, and more curiously, who is the target customer Dodge is trying to reach with this advertisement?

While the second portion of advice seemed all too reflective of what many feel about the Millennial generation, important statistics about car purchasing demographics remain.  In an article titled, Car buying demographics shift as baby boomers age, studies show that “the 55-to-64-year-old age group, the oldest of the boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car,” and that 79% of Millennials aged 20-24 had a driver’s license.

Senior adult on the beach with a restored 1967 convertible GTO

It is more than likely that this commercial was produced for the top car buyers in America, the oldest of the baby boomers, striking a solid balance between target marketing and mass marketing.  Finding a way to market to a large quantity of people of high quality consumers requires a solid understanding of both general and specific purchasing tendencies of your groups.  Strictly target marketing made for this particular demographic—the elder baby boomers—had the potential of pigeon-holing the entire campaign; and mass-marketing may have left much to be desired in terms of messaging, content and entertainment. However, a savvy advertising call resulted in a marketing message that can resonate across all age groups: be bold, be bad – it’s cool.