Persuasive Campaign for a Hellcat


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If you want a fast car, yes, you could buy Teslabut you wouldnt be getting everything that goes with a fast car. You wouldnt be getting the sound. You wouldnt be getting the motor revving, driving your neighbors crazy every time you hit the gas pedal and hold with the stick in neutral just so you can hear the growl of a nice big V8 under the hood. A Tesla is not going to do that. A Tesla is an electric car. Yes, Teslas have instant torquebut they also tend to blow up on impact and burn their drivers to death. Golf cart bombs should not be lumped into the category of fast cars. A car runs on gas. A Tesla runs on batteries. This distinction is important. If you want a fast car, a real fast cara car that has muscle and isnt ashamed to show it, theres really only one car to get: the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

The Hellcat gets 700 horsepower. That is raw power ready to launch you from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. It comes in an automatic transmission or with a manual, but theres really only one way to drive the Hellcatand that is to get it with a manual transmission. When you are shifting from third gear into fourth and youre already at 60 mph, you will understand why. Yes, 700 hp may seem like too much, but the Hellcat is a hefty machine weighing some 4,500 pounds. Its not a BMW M3. Its not a compact car. Its a monster beast unleashed from the furnaces of Dodges inferno. It was meant to be large and in charge. Those 700 horses are exactly what are needed to muscle that machine around. And the Hellcat is all muscle. As far as all Hellcat owners are concerned, it is the only muscle car that matters. Your tires will spin, your car will slip, and you will fear for your life when driving it. But that is the whole point. This car gets 700 horsepower: it is not supposed to be a picnic.

What Is Going Well in the Campaign

The Hellcat helped to transform the Dodge brand. Phelan (2016) states that the supercharged Hellcat V-8s have become an icon for the whole Dodge brand, starring in raucous commercials and posters on teenagers walls in a way not seen since the original Charger lifted Dodge from suburban bland to outlaw chic 50 years ago. Most people assumed it would be undrivable but all popular opinion has pointed just the opposite: it is a very drivable car. People love it.

The campaign to get people to buy the Hellcat was going great. It was the top of the line muscle car coming in at $60klower than a high-priced Tesla or a BMW M5, with a better growl than the EV and a better interior than the German sports car. The Hellcat was the meanest machine on the marketuntil its older brother arrived: the Dodge Demon. It boasted 800-1000 horsepower and was not even street legal. It was a track car only. Still, it overshadowed the Hellcat. It made the Hellcat seem like a kitty. The Demon let the world know who was boss. Hellcat prices across the board began to fall. What started off as a $60k machine could now be had used with only a few thousand miles on it for $45k.

Before the Demon came along to make Dodge seem even more insane than it was when all it had to offer the world was the Hellcat, the Hellcat was the worlds muscle car idol. It looked great with its retro 1970s muscle car exterior and under the hood was the 8 cylinder 392 engine with a supercharger. It had big thick tires to help give it the kind of grip it needed. It was fast. It was rock solid. It was big. It was mean. Everyone wanted one.

The pictures and images that poured across the Internet care websites and social media added to the effect Dodge was going for. YouTube videos appeared of guys getting their Hellcat, making it their daily driver, taking it to the track, and taking it for spins down the highway. People loved their Hellcats so much they built their own private rooms in their houses for themi.e. special garages with special bays to keep them nice and tidy.

The Hellcat campaign was assisted by online sites like MotorTrend, AutoTrader, and TopSpeed. These sites and several others have posted many different articles showcasing the qualities of the Hellcat. Many YouTubers have assisted in praising the Hellcat and have posted videos of races in Mexico between the Hellcat and Mustang GTs, 5.0s, Corvettes, Camaros, and so on. The social media sphere has helped give the Hellcat a great deal of visibility. It has allowed it to stand out from other car products on the road and to showcase what really makes it special.

The Hellcat has developed a big following among fast car fans. That is because nothing really comes close to challenging it in terms of horsepower at the price for which it can be purchased. The only problem going forward that the Hellcat is likely to encounter is the number of street racing incidents that have occurred. One popular YouTuber Paul Powell who named his channel FamilyCruisin was recently arrested for posting numerous street race videos of himself and his children in the car (Fabbre, 2018). He has been charged with child endangerment and all the videos on his channel have been removed. He helped to popularize the Hellcat for many people and his arrest shows that this care does not come without its risks. Though it is street legal it is a car that carries a lot of temptation. But that is consistent with its name. If you are going to own a Hellcat you have to be aware of the risks that come with it and you have to be mindful about not breaking the law.

The kind of negative attention that FamilyCrusins arrest has brought to the Hellcat is bad for the brand. A lot of people enjoyed that channel and many YouTubers have expressed concern for the car community social media posters. Hellcats campaign had been enjoying a lot of quality press since it was released in 2015. In the first year alone, sales were up 8% year over year, as Phelan (2016) notes.

Suggestions for Improvement

The Dodge Demon has stolen some of the Hellcats thunder. The arrest of FamilyCruisin has also brought negative attention to the brand. However, both of these can be fixed and the campaign improved. First, the Demon is not street legal and everyone knows that. It cannot be the daily driver. The Hellcat can. Second, street racing is illegal, and everyone knows that. People who post videos of themselves breaking the law are asking to be arrested. Dodge doesnt have to do anything with either one of these issues to get the Hellcat looking good again. All it has to do is continue to put out positive images of the retro car, boasting its engine capacity, and scoring high marks with consumers.

Tesla is a car company that is in crisis mode. Its handles stick, its back bumpers fall off, its autopilot fails, and its cars burst into flames (Lambert, 2018; Orlove, 2018; Torchinsky, 2018). The Hellcat has none of these issues. It has been a love-fest for consumers ever since its release in 2015. As far as social media goes, there is not much the company can do about YouTubers who insist on acting and driving recklessly in their Hellcats and posting videos to their YouTube channels. The car obviously was not made for that. It was made to be a throw-back to the old muscle car era, and Dodge has succeeded in making a car that makes people go wow! For that reason, all Dodge has to do to improve its campaign is continue to produce ads that show the muscle car in all its glorygoing fast on the track and looking great on the road.

One way to improve its image, however, would be to get the car in more TV shows and films. The James Bond franchise would be a great way to get the Hellcat some excellent positive exposure. The Fast and the Furious franchise is another great opportunity, as it routinely features muscle cars. Indeed, Dodge has already linked up with filmmakers to work on just that. The latest Fate of the Furious featured a in its trailer, as Car and Driver reported (Fink, 2016). This kind of positive advertising is just what the Hellcat needs to keep its reputation going strong and to cement its iconic imagery in the minds of consumers.

Dodge has not had any problems moving the Hellcat and demand for the car has been through the roofso much so that the company had to double its production numbers (Phelan, 2016). Now that some bad press and some competition from within its own Challenger line has come along, the Hellcat has to be put before the eyes of the public in more and more positive ways. It should be used to promote events like the X-Games, and it could be used as a loaner vehicle for celebrities arriving at the red carpet of movie premiers, just like VW did when it reintroduced the Bug to the market.

The Hellcat is a car that muscle car lovers will continue to wantbut to keep the wrong kind of ideas from being associated with this car, Dodge has to work double time on its campaign. Street races on YouTube can give it a bad reputation and make people think twice about buying it. Playing up the safer aspects and more economical qualities of the car (like the fact that the automatic actually gets good gas mileage) can helpand more articles should be put out by that via Dodges marketing arm.



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Phelan, M. (2016). How 707-hp Dodge Hellcat engine was created in secret. Retrieved


Orlove, R. (2018). This test shows why keep happening.

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Torchinsky, J. (2018). Bumper falls off brand new Tesla model 3. Retrieved from