James A. Kiewel: When Frankie And Annette Saved Chrysler
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
It seems like every generation or so, Italians come to the aid of Chrysler Corporation. Presently, it's Fiat's Sergio Marchionne. Before that it was Lee Iacocca, freshly cashiered by Henry Ford II ("I just don't like you, Lee"). And before that, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello!?!
Well could have, maybe. The year was 1964 and I was a management trainee at BBDO, New York.
"Which of you guys knows anything about cars?" asked our supervisor.
Silence. It was not cool for Ivy Leaguers to know about cars.
Then a response: "I don't, but I have a friend who does."
Being a land-granter, I had no reservations about speaking up -- and in that instant, I found myself in charge of finding ways to make the stodgy old Dodge Division's new Ram Charger appealing to young people.
My first act was to call Joe Gosnell back in Minneapolis. "The Ram Charger..." he mused. He began reeling off statistics about suspension, engine disp
Huffington Post article