New commercial says car parts make perfect wedding gifts

CarPartsLinens, china and silverware are so passe. A new 30-second Dodge commercial suggests the latest chic, new trend in wedding gifts – car parts.

“Chrysler is trying to redefine a wedding ritual with ‘The Dodge Dart Registry,’ a site that lets engaged couples raise money toward purchasing a new car by asking their friends and family to chip in,” Advertising Age reported yesterday.

A new television :30 started airing to drive traffic.

Give the gift of lug nuts

The commercial tells engaged couples to go to an online “Dodge Dart Registry,” where they can “configure and customize the car, then set a goal for how much money they need in order to make it theirs.”

When that’s done, couples can put the bite on relatives and friends by connecting their wish list to Facebook or Twitter and getting contributions through crowdfunding platform RocketHub.

As the commercial ever so subtly and graciously suggests, Dad can pay for the engine, Grandma the rims, and so on.

Hey, there’s nothing like spark plugs to put the spark in that marriage. Who needs wedding rings when they can get piston rings? And for the millions who still can’t find jobs in our supposedly recovering economy, you can always give the gift of lug nuts.

Not one of Wieden + Kennedy’s better efforts

The advertising agency that created this campaign, Wieden + Kennedy, is famous for its powerful and moving television commercials – most notably the truly great “Proud Sponsors of Moms” Procter & Gamble campaign that aired during the 2012 summer Olympics.

For Dodge, they were clearly having an off day.

The spot, which feels much longer than its 30-second running time, is all how-to, see-say and show the metal.

Some industry critics fault it on strategic grounds. “[A] wedding-like registry doesn’t appear to be a good match for this brand,” Karl Heiselman, CEO of WolffOlins global brand consultancy, told Ad Age. “The Dodge Dart has a heritage of…muscle.”

Not exactly going viral

So far, at least, the Dodge car parts wedding registry isn’t burning up the Internet, either.

As of this writing, all of 18 count ’em 18 people had signed in to the website.

The second-oldest of these posts, from one Eric Traver of Clarkston, MI – not all that far from Dodge headquarters – says in part, “Bottom line. … I need a car that makes you want to get out of bed and go to work in the morning … just so you can drive it. The Dodge Dart does just that.”

Consumers, as a rule, don’t write like that. Advertising people trying to sound like consumers, as a rule, do.

Eric Traver’s Linkedin page describes him as an account coordinator in marketing and advertising. Hmmm.

Be that as it may, Eric’s the third most successful fundee, having raised a grand total of nine dollars.

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