The Dodge Boys and How They Changed The Concept of Association Advertising

James D. Grant

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, the slide on the screen is my way of introducing our client's "Big Idea". I have to admit ... it's a pretty crazy excuse for a "Big Idea" ... a group of funny looking men, with bald heads, big noses, beady eyes, and happy facial expressions. If they had individual names ... they'd probably be called "Ralph", "Sol", "Phil", "Mike", or maybe even "Joe" ... certainly nothing distinctive.

THE BIG IDEA WAS BORN FROM POOR PUBLIC IMPRESSION OF CAR DEALERS

Where then is the "Big Idea" in our "Dodge Boys" kind of advertising?

Since car sales are made one-by-one in individual dealer's showrooms, a new car prospect's impression of the dealer is a critical factor in making a sale. So, Dodge association advertising campaigns endeavor to improve the image of Dodge dealers and stresses that Dodge dealers are fun-loving, "nice people to do business with". These factors were very important in the development of the original "Dodge Boys" campaign back in 1963 when Dodge (with BBDO's assistance) organized its dealer associations throughout the country to help build the image of Dodge dealers as nice guys to do business with. As you are perhaps aware, the public's impression of car dealers in general was pretty poor during that period.