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Muscle Car Ad Campaigns “The Scat Pack”

By MyClassicGarage at 07/09/14 12:37PM

In the Muscle Car era a lot of manufacturers promoted their brands with a lot of advertising directed at the performance market and the young people who were ready to purchase a hot muscle car.



A lot of buyers, both young and old had started buying muscle cars form all brands because of their immense performance potential. But, many young folks just wanted a cool car that, in many cases, attracted the opposite sex.



No matter which choice of car was being contemplated by those buyers, the manufacturers started ad campaigns on TV and in the magazines promoting the outright performance of the vehicles plus the appearance and attractiveness of the cars to both sexes.

 

No brand was more aggressive than Dodge and Plymouth and no brands did it any better. In this article we will talk about the ad campaign that Dodge unleashed on the buying public, The Dodge Scat Pack.

As 1967 began to wind down, the Dodge product planning folks, along with their ad agency, Ross Roy, began developing a hip new marketing concept for the 1968 performance car lineup. This campaign would tie together the three performance models, Charger R/T, Coronet R/T and Dart GTS (the Super Bee would be added mid ’68), and garage them under a specific marketing strategy to generate increased consumer awareness and loyalty towards these performance models. Dodge and the Ross Agency developed an entire group of vehicles whose focus was on performance. They called it the Scat Pack.

 

While the name of the exact individual who dreamed up the Dodge Scat Pack design, name and concept is unknown, regardless, it was a brilliant idea. First, the concept created a cool theme, with a mascot and tagline specifically for the Dodge performance lineup. This prevented the R/T, Super Bee and GTS models from getting lost and buried within the traditional marketing materials and brand advertising campaigns.

 

Second, a wide-open throttle PR and media blitz announcing the formation of the Dodge Scat Pack got word out very quickly. Third, the marketing offensive engaged consumers directly with the creation of a “Scat Pack Club,” which offered members a newsletter containing racing updates, tuning tips and other cool information for gear heads.

Finally, Dodge was the first domestic automaker to promote its image with wild-looking Scat Pack jackets along with other cool items such as patches, decals and more. All these elements made the Dodge Scat Pack a huge success, a recipe that its rival cousin, Plymouth, would adopt in 1970 with the creation of the “Rapid Transit System.”

 

To qualify for the Scat Pack title, the car had to be capable of breaking down into the 14-second bracket in the standing-start quarter-mile, and only four cars were available that year which could do so in 1968. When the program officially launched in 1968, the Scat Pack had the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, Swinger 340, and Super Bee, and included print ads, brochures, a national club, decals, and wearables.

 

All three B-bodied models easily qualified for Scat status with the factory Hemi option. The R/T models came standard with the 440 Magnum, which still could run in the 14-second zone with the right gears. The Super Bee was released in midyear 1968, and got its name from the bee logo that had been adopted to promote the Scat Pack. Standard power in the ‘Bee was a new 335-hp 383 engine that had been assembled out of the existing parts bin when Plymouth had created their Road Runner at the start of the 1968 model year. Like Road Runner, the Super Bee was marketed to a younger, less affluent buyer, but that also meant lighter weight, which in turn made them capable of also joining the Scat Pack.

 

In the last three years until 1971, the Scat Pack cars included the Dart Swinger 340, Coronet Super Bee and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee, Challenger and Charger R/T, and Charger Daytona. In 1971, the Charger Super Bee replaced the Coronet version, and the 340 Demon was added to the list; that was the last year of the promotion.

Even though 1971 would be the final year Dodge would use the Scat Pack as a marketing tool for their performance cars, the brand still took out full color multi-page ads in many publications. While other manufacturers began their exit strategy from the high-performance car market, the Dodge Scat Pack offered some of coolest rides right through the end of the 1971 model year.

 


The Dodge Scat Pack represented the absolute high water mark of marketing and promotion of high performance Dodge vehicles up till then. And the Dodge Scat Pack backed up all the bravado with the performance and handling that made all of the Dodge Scat Pack the legends that they still are today.

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Comments

Fred's Shop Fred's Shop

Brings back the past to your minds eye, those were the days, can it be that long ago, Oh My....

07/11/14 02:12PM Like 0
PMT EXPRESS PMT EXPRESS

OH how I remember those days I was still in high school seeing these cars coming done the street. I personally had a 1969 Ford Torino bluegreen,4 barrel, dual exhaust, atomatic,no air conditioning and it would run like hell.

07/14/14 02:18PM Like 1
MikeyMopar440 MikeyMopar440

Memories for most of us and then sadly will be just retold stories by our kids and grandkids :(
I've got a handful of Mopar pics and ads that I've used for projects. Probably should update it with others I've collected but the 50-some-odd are good ones. If anyone is interested (nothing but full-sized mopar pics (right click on thumbnail and open link in new tab) and they are all rated PG/100% kid and wife safe)...440MoparRT.imgur.com

07/18/14 01:53PM Like 0
Superbird Heaven Superbird Heaven

Oh - where have all the great Chargers gone? I miss seeing them on a daily basis. Oh to be 30 again! Great memories and great cars!

07/20/14 09:41PM Like 0
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