The Dodge Brothers

Despite the remarkable exterior designs, interior innovations and potent powertrains, Dodge sales are not doing particularly well.

Despite the remarkable exterior designs, interior innovations and potent powertrains, Dodge sales are not doing particularly well.

In May, sales were off 22%. For the year they’re off 17%.

The brand under the FCA US LLC umbrella has sold a total of 213,685 units through May.

Chevrolet sold a total of 207,970 units in May.

In order to try to boost sales, Dodge is running a series of ads featuring the Dodge Brothers, fictional version of the actual guys who established their car-making concern back in 1912.

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According to Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer of FCA Global (i.e., not just the U.S. but the whole shooting match), "Today's Dodge vehicles have the same passion for performance as John and Horace Dodge established in the first vehicles they crafted more than one hundred years ago. The initial 'Dodge Brothers' campaign we ran last year as a celebration of Dodge's centennial was so successful that the brothers are now back in this cinematic 'season two,' beautifully directed by Academy Award winner Adrien Brody.”


He added, “Our Dodge owners have embraced this campaign as they are extremely passionate about our cars and connect with the excitement these two brothers first brought to the auto industry decades ago and continue to bring to the ads in which they star today."

A couple of points.

One is that Brody won his Oscar for his remarkable starring role in Roman Polanski’s 2002 film The Pianist, in which he plays the title role, a musician in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Not a whole lot of Dodge Brothers hijinks there.

According to his profile on IMDB, Brody has directed one film, Stone Barn Castle. It is documentary about the restoration. . .of a barn.

Not exactly SRT territory.

Second, “Dodge owners have embraced this campaign.” These people already own Dodges. The brand needs to attract buyers who don’t own Dodges.

Were I to provide Francois with a recommendation regarding what they ought to do with the Dodge Brothers rather than making them look like a couple of guys who take on overweight boys and society snobs is to look to what I continue to consider the all-time go-to book about the auto industry, The Automobile Age by James J. Flink (The MIT Press).

In it, Flink writes, “The chassis (engines, transmission, and axles) of the first Ford car were supplied by the Detroit machine shop of John F. and Horace E. Dodge, which earlier had supplied transmissions for the curved-dash Olds.”

Just imagine an ad that stated: “Who taught Ford and General Motors about powertrains? These guys.”