Brian Russell
Brian Russell / Design / February 17th, 2012

New, More Powerful Jeeps Deserve New, More Powerful Ads

When it comes to online marketing methods, a new ad for the exciting Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 shows the minds behind the 4.6-seconds-to-60 SUV may still be in the slow lane.

I’m a car guy. I can find joy in driving most cars — all makes and models, up and down the price ranges.

16-year-old Brian's Jeep wishlist

After I turned 16, I really wanted a Jeep Wrangler or a Jeep Grand Wagoneer (the ugly beast with the wood paneling). That’s been a long time ago now, and I’ve still never owned a Jeep. With Jeep in my heart, I’m excited about the direction of the company today. They have finally put an engine in the Wrangler, and the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Grand Wagoneer’s great grandchild, is said to be the Mercedes of Jeeps (the first from the already-over DaimlerChrysler days). As excited as I am about the automaker’s future now, I can’t say the same about its advertising, and its use of the Web, I found in the February 2012 issue of Car & Driver. It’s the 1987, 121-hp inline four of Jeeps. That is to say it’s weak. (I won’t be getting into the effectiveness of traditional advertising, or how P&G — with the biggest marketing budget in the world — is trimming its budget and investing more into web-based channels, which its executives say have proven more effective.)

This Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 ad is lacking in digital power

Not knowing how they plan to track the effectiveness of this ad for their 470-hp, 4.6-seconds-to-60 Grand Cherokee SRT8, I don’t know how they can meaningfully track its effectiveness. The ad directs readers to visit the Wall Street Journal’s website, wsj.com, and search for the article it mentions there. In the interest of research, I searched for it.

Screenshots: Search Results - Which Jeep Article Were They Talking AboutWhere's the Jeep -- ooh -- look at that Porsche article

It wasn’t exactly an easy experience finding the referenced article. And, there was a lot along the way to distract me — including an article about Porsche in the popular posts area. If I’m in the market for an SUV that can shock a 2012 Mustang GT from a stoplight, with a price tag of about $62,000, I may get swayed to read about Porsche instead.   The downsides of Jeep’s current ad: Right now, it’s all out of its control. WSJ could run Audi ads all alongside the article. WSJ could set up a paywall and no longer allow access to the specific article. WSJ could make the article difficult to find, which the already kind of did. A few, simple suggestions for improvements:

  • Direct readers to jeep.com/wsj, or similar, and redirect to the exact WSJ article they want the potential customer to read. Through this method, Jeep can measure the number of people who perform the act they ask for in the ad.
  • Plus, include a frame around it. In the frame, Jeep can include whatever information they like — a link to an awesomely emotional car video, some request a price quote function, find a Jeep dealer, any lead funnel. The sky’s the limit. And in this way, it’s all in Jeep’s control.
  • With any redirect, you’ll always have control to point toward whatever you want. For example, as the ad circulates, you could direct a portion to prospect funnel A, while the remainder is sent to prospect funnel B. The lead funnel that works best would be the one that everyone gets sent to.
  • qrcodeInclude a QR code, which can be scanned with a smartphone, and directs the reader straight to where Jeep wishes them to go. Through this route, Jeep marketers can again track the actions spurred by the ad. And with the QR code, they can redirect to any of the above suggestions.

Again, these are just quick, simple tips. There’s a lot more testing, tracking that can be done. To see what I mean, install Ghostery on your browser and see all the ways you are measured and tracked as you web surf. Have any thoughts or comments? Write them on a postcard and send it enclosed in a mint, 1989 to 1991 model year Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the 360 cubic inch AMC V8, and the optional four-wheel antilock brake system, with four wheel drive and Selec-Trac, to 352 Media Group, Gainesville, FL 32669. Non-returnable. Or, you can comment below. Photo Credit: Twang Photography via Compfight cc