Dodge, in an effort to boost sales of its Grand Caravan minivan, has launched a “Man Hauler” advertising campaign touting its minivans aren’t just for housewives anymore. By up-badging its minivan with the performance R/T badging, yet keeping with a 6-cylinder engine, Dodge is hoping to snag some wayward, and obviously whipped, husbands into the minivan foray.

R/T of course stands for Road and Track. While it’s not everyday, or even once a year, that we see a Grand Caravan at the track, the shouts of “Nay” as to the R/T badging being used so carelessly has caused Dodge to actually take the new Grand Caravan R/T to track. Oh, not the 1/4 mile track mind you where the moniker made a name for itself years ago, that would be embarrassing. Instead they took it to the Texas Motor Speedway to run laps around the course at a blistering 80 mph leading into turn one. So performance minded is the new R/T Grand Caravan that its six male occupants, consisting of Dodge executives and journalists, who were along for the joy ride had to don racing helmets. Whoa! Fasten your seat belts boys, we don’t want you spilling your cappuccinos while heading into turn three on the backside.

This little dynamo produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to plant your testosterone occupants firmly in the in Grand Caravan’s black leather seats.

In terms of advertising gimmicks, the one is an epic failure. Using terms like “testosterone” and “man van” cannot cure the man who looks at one of these on the dealer’s lot and says, “Wow, what a man hauler. I have to have it.” Uh, not so fast buddy — you better ask your wife, after all she is obviously the one wearing the pants in the family.

Not only does this loose toying with the R/T badging tarnish the R/T’s legendary heritage, which was brought to fame by legendary racers like “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, but it demeans the R/T owners already out there. They have now become “Man Haulers” too. Sissified by one careless advertising campaign.

The backlash from the advertising campaign has already begun on Internet forums, blogs and news articles with die hard Mopar fans giving the “Man Hauler” campaign a quick thumbs down.

The genius and originality of the George Washington Challenger advertising campaign to the demoralizing “Man Hauler” has some folks worried about what could be next. A “Man Bag” with an R/T logo B’Dazzled on it available through the Dodge apparel store?? Oh, the horror!

File under: Fail

Source: Red Letter Dodge: Grand Caravan R/T – “The Man Hauler!”

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  1. […] Sadly though, minivan sales overall are low and 50% of low equates to cancellation. The slumping sales of the Dodge Caravan in particular over these past few years lends credence to what we reported back May when Chrysler attempted to re-brand the minivan as a “Man Hauler” by placing the legendary R/T badging on it in a Jump the Shark type advertising manuever. See: Dodge Launches “Man Van” Advertising Campaign. […]