Search for a New HEMI® Star Casting Call Comes to the Breeder’s Cup

Search for a New HEMI® Star Casting Call Comes to the Breeder’s Cup

Talent Search Extended for New HEMI® Guy who will Co-Star in national Ad Campaign to Launch the New 2006 Dodge Ram 1500
Last Chance to audition at the Breeder’s Cup

Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 25, 2005 –
Dodge brand recently extended its search for a “HEMI Star,”– a new “HEMI Guy or Gal” to co-star in a national advertising campaign that will help launch the new 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Truck. The last chance to audition for the next HEMI Star is at the Breeder’s Cup.

“The response to HEMI Search from the public as well as our dealers has been very strong,” said Fred Diaz, Director, Dodge Marketing. “Given the enthusiasm, we really had no choice but to extend the deadline for entry.”

The talent search officially kicked off with print advertising on September 26 featuring the new Dodge Ram 1500 pick up truck and Jon Reep, HEMI Guy No. 1—best known for his famous “That thing got a HEMI?” line. In the ad, Reep’s picture is placed next to a cutout white space where his ex-side-kick once stood that reads “YOU ARE HERE.”

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

Two versions of the print ad have run in national and local publications to promote open casting calls throughout the country at various events. For information on the auditions, visit dodge.com/hemistar.

Print advertisements were followed by a 30-second television spot where only HEMI Guy No. 1 appears. Titled “Carrier,” the ad broke Saturday, October 22 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.”

“Carrier” will continue to air as candidates for the new HEMI Star are narrowed down through voting on dodge.com/hemistar. In early November, auditions and out-takes will be posted on the Hemi Star Website and in mid-November, HEMI Star finalists will be posted. Consumers will have the opportunity to vote, narrowing the candidates to two. In late 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 a later date.

“The campaign is unique in that it seamlessly ties several advertising mediums together: live events, internet, print and television, while engaging consumers to either try out to be, or vote for the newest HEMI Star,” said Diaz.

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

The Dodge HEMI Guys appeared in their first commercial, “Muscle,” (10/02) where they launched 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 including 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 has 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 percent ever tested
“Muscle”: Top 5 percent ever tested
“Convoy”: Top 8 percent ever tested
“Wishful Thinking”: Top 15 percent ever tested

Persuasion Score
“HEMI”: Top 5 percent ever tested
“Muscle”: Top 12 percent ever tested
“Wishful Thinking”: Top 15 percent 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 Mega Cab, 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.

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