Creation of an online brand presence for Chrysler as well as content provision and constant expansion of online activity, while also tending to the Chrysler dealer’s needs.
Chrysler is bringing American automobile design to Europe. Since the beginning of digital communication DDD takes care of Michigan’s storied car manufacturer and makes sure that its models 300M, Sebring, Sebring Cabrio, PT Cruiser, PT Cruiser Cabrio, Voyager, Grand Voyager, Crossfire (Coupé and Roadster), 300C and 300C Touring are properly represented online. This is achieved through a special technology for online catalogues, supported by a dealer search, a price finder as well as a 360°-view and a Zoom Colorator. Additionally to being informed about the cars, the user also learns about the brand itself and all available services.
Specials and online newsletters communicate campaigns, special models or special offers. DDD is also responsible for the customizable web presences of all Chrysler dealers.
While keeping the individual character of Chrysler, transported through tonality and imagery, the website’s structure is also planned to create a unified appearance of all three Chrysler brands, also reflecting the overall concept of Jeep’s and Dodge’s websites.
At the beginning of the cooperation between DDD and Chrysler the website is hosted at DDD and, introduced with the first relaunch, provided with a custom built CMS for rapid content editing, making it possible to react flexibly to all requested changes and updates of a website of such size.
In 2005 the German website is integrated into Chrysler’s internationally used Day-CMS and is implemented by DDD according to internally developed concepts and layouts. DDD also keeps adapting the site and implementing any content changes. 2007 sees another relaunch with the migration to the Interwoven-CMS.
The dealer sites are not migrated and remain in the Day-system, resulting in two CMS used in parallel for different purposes.
During the continuing cooperation, starting in 2009, specials are implemented in Flash or HTML, with or without a database backend, following externally provided designs from the US or Italy, but adapted for the German market. All basic content keeps getting created and updated along the way as well.
The dealer search and the price finder are developed separately as a HTML-application with Python and Django and are later updated with a mobile interface based on jQuery Mobile.
To be able to find a German Chrysler partner nearby or in another city, a simple but powerful dealer search has been implemented. The user can locate dealers through mouse interaction with a map or by searching directly for a certain dealer. The direct search either works with the location and/or the name of the dealer. You can also use a perimeter search for a post code. Detailed information such as telephone number, address and offered services are displayed for each search result to make contacting the dealer as easy as possible. Furthermore, the results also include direct links to the corresponding dealer websites.
Using the DDD-developed price finder tool, a user is able to immediately assess the cost of his or her selected car. This holds true not only for the currently selected configuration, but also for alternative configurations and models simultaneously. DDD also included an innovative feature, allowing the user to specify the planned budget for narrowing down the search. By changing the budget on a dynamic scale models and equipment are in- or excluded from the resulting list, showing exactly which cars fit the user’s requirements and which don’t.
To be able to present vehicles online as precise as possible and offer full details to the user, DDD, in 2001, develops a technology, capable of rendering a 360°-view of a vehicle as well as zooming the vehicle up to four times. Through this technology the user can experience the vehicle from all angles and in all available colours, thereby already getting the right impression about what model, colour and equipment to select. Equipment details and points of interest are marked with mouse-enabled hotspots, that offer additional information on hover and lead to detailed information and images on click.
With this innovative tool, an interactive application is achieved, which offers a full product experience for the web with minimal loading times. The intuitive layout and fast site performance make a visit to chrysler.de especially user-friendly.
Technology: For the three-dimensional presentation each vehicle is filmed inside a studio with a high resolution digital camera. After that, 36 images are combined into a smooth movement around the car. The resulting high resolution material is then transformed into four zoom levels using a specially developed tile-based algorithm by DDD. The result of this treatment are seven million single images per car, individually delivered for each user request, for every possible configuration. The first version of the 360°-viewer is based on “Quicktime VR”, the web standard at the time for multimedia presentations. Later versions are based on Flash and ActionScript, ensuring that as many users as possible can experience the 360°-presentation.
To present campaigns and models in the most visible place possible, teaser tiles are integrated into the front page, directly linking to content or landing pages.
The teasers present the special spring/summer or autumn/winter campaigns as well as special models and deals for example.
To keep customers and interested users informed about Chrysler a newsletter is created. Registration for this newsletter is part of the website. The topics of the newletters range from campaign newsletters about certain events or dates to general newsletters, compiling news from the website or from Chrysler directly. Most news are directly linked to the website news for further information.
During the cooperation of Chrysler and DDD the design is regularly updated or recreated entirely. Chrysler’s cars are always presented in a “State of the Art” fashion this way, using the latest technological possibilities and design ideas.
Being the online lead-agency, DDD is also responsible for supporting the Chrysler dealers. Each dealer gets an own internet presence under the hood of chrysler.de, including an own URL. The presence itself is entirely filled with general, but brand-specific content, which the dealers themselves can edit and publish besides all general information about their dealership easily. The information on each of these dealer websites is a mixture of standard information such as location, contact and services. Additionally each dealer may also include individual campaigns, offers and news. The dealer backend offers an extensive help section, describing the process of editing texts, including videos explaining the usage of the backend section.