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Wanna be a 'HEMI Star'? (Hemi Casting Call)

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2005-09-28

[ DaimlerChrysler's press release ]

Wanna be a 'HEMI Star'?

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 22

Wanna be a 'HEMI Star'? Dodge Announces National Talent Search for New HEMI Guy Who Will Co-Star in Ad Campaign to Launch the New 2006 Dodge Ram 1500.

  • Deadline for entries is Oct. 8, 2005
  • New HEMI Character to Co-star in National Television Campaign for the New 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Truck

Dodge brand today announced "HEMI Star," a national talent search for a new "HEMI Guy or Gal" to co-star in a national advertising campaign that will launch the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Truck.

"With a take rate of 60% for Dodge Ram 1500, HEMI has become a brand within our brands," said Steven Landry, Vice President, Dodge. "Our commercials and this engine continue to resonate with consumers."

The talent search officially kicks off with print advertising on September 26 and will feature Jon Reep, HEMI Guy No. 1 -- best known for his famous, "That thing got a HEMI?" line. Reep's picture will be placed next to a cutout white space where his ex-side-kick once stood that reads, "YOU ARE HERE."

Two versions of the ad will run in national and local publications and promote open casting calls throughout the country at various events. For a list of audition locations, information on the competition, and where audition tapes can be mailed, visit http://dodge.com/hemistar, which launches on Friday, September 30. All entries must be postmarked by Oct. 8, 2005.

Print advertisements will be followed by a 30-second television spot where only HEMI Guy No. 1 appears. Titled "Carrier," the ad breaks in mid-October and is the launch spot for the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500. The commercial lets consumers know what happened to HEMI Guy No. 2, whose signature line was "Sweeet."

"We are looking for a co-star that has a real passion for Dodge, Dodge trucks and HEMI engines," said Landry.

"Carrier" will air as candidates for the new HEMI Star are narrowed down through voting on http://dodge.com/hemistar. In late October, HEMI Star finalists will be posted on the HEMI Star Web site where consumers will have the opportunity to vote, narrowing the candidates down to two. In early November, the top two candidates will be posted on the site and an event where HEMI Guy No. 1 will choose his own new co-star will follow. Details of the event will be announced at later date.

Two additional 30-seconds television spots will be created for the launch of the new vehicle and feature the new HEMI Star character.

The original HEMI Guys appeared in their first commercial, "Muscle," (10/02) to launch the 2003 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup. Since then, five additional commercials featuring the two HEMI loving characters have aired: "Beef Jerky" (01/03), "Revenge" (02/03), "HEMI To Go" (10/03), "Convoy (10/04), and "Wishful Thinking" (12/04).

Advertising that has included the HEMI Guys has achieved some of the highest scores across all advertising categories tested by Millward Brown, a market research consultancy that has copy tested more than 34,000 ads worldwide and had done advertising related research for 70 of the Top 100 US advertisers.

* Awareness Index or the ability to get notices and break through the clutter
    "HEMI to Go" Top 1% ever tested
    "Muscle" Top 5% ever tested
    "Convoy" Top 8% ever tested
    "Wishful Thinking" Top 8% ever tested

* Persuasion Score or the ability to build consideration
    "HEMI" Top 5% ever tested
    "Muscle" Top 12% ever tested
    "Wishful Thinking" Top 15% ever tested

The HEMI and the tag lines "Hey, that thing got a HEMI?" and "Sweeet" have also worked their way into pop culture appearing in syndicated cartoons, as clues for crossword puzzles and on licensed goods.

About Dodge Brand

As one of America's best-known brands, Dodge creates exceptional driving experiences with bold, powerful, street smart and do more vehicles, including the Dodge Viper SRT10, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Ram, Dodge Caravan, and the Dodge Charger. From performance to commercial vehicles, Dodge cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans offer affordable performance.

With a U.S. market share of approximately seven percent, Dodge is the fifth-largest nameplate in the United States. In 2004, Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles worldwide. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percent U.S. market share and maintains an 18 percent share of the highly competitive truck market.

For more information on Dodge and its products, visit http://www.dodge.com.

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