PlayStation Vue Is Cloud-Based TV Service For PS3, PS4; No Cable Required


Sons of Anarchy Image

Image credit: Polygon

New service will let you watch live TV and on-demand content without a cable or satellite subscription.

PlayStation maker Sony has announced an all new, cloud-based TV service called PlayStation Vue. The platform, which lets you access live TV and on-demand content without a cable or satellite subscription, is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. A beta will begin later this month.

Sony isn’t holding back in boasting about Vue, saying the service “reinvents” the traditional TV experience. The announcement came with a statement from Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House, who laid out his vision for Vue.

“Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service, PlayStationVue,” House said. “Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”

Vue has a “powerful” user interface, Sony says, which delivers “unprecedented personalization and simplicity.” The service also features recommendation algorithms, which will clue you in on movies and shows based on your previous viewing habits and trending content. You can also use Vue’s “Explore” function to view the entire catalog of on-demand content, filtered by program, genre, ratings, and popularity, among other things.

Sony adds that Vue will help you catch up on live TV programming you might have missed, as the service will make available the past three days of popular shows without requiring you to schedule recordings. You can also save shows to the cloud, where they will stay for a period of 28 times.

As part of the initial invite-only beta (there’s no indication yet as to how you can get in), Vue will offer around 75 channels per market. Such a service will likely live or die based on its network partners, and Vue has many of the big names, including GameSpot parent company CBS and others.

Vue’s current network partners, with descriptions courtesy of Sony, are listed below–more will be announced later.

  • CBS: At launch, PlayStation Vue will offer the live linear signal from CBS Television Network’s owned-and-operated TV stations in select leading markets in addition to on-demand prime-time programming.
  • Discovery Communications: Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel, and 11 more brands.
  • Fox: Fox Networks Group’s portfolio of national entertainment programming services, including–FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, and Nat Geo WILD. Additionally FOX Sports’ national and regional programming services–FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, BTN, Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations.
  • NBCUniversal: All local offerings from NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network, and more.
  • Scripps Networks Interactive: HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, and Cooking Channel.
  • Viacom: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, PALLADIA, Spike, VH1 and more.

Pricing for Vue was not announced today, though Sony says Vue will “change the rules” for how people pay for subscription TV. The company promises “fair and competitive” pricing that’s transparent and doesn’t have hidden fees or charges. Vue subscriptions will be offered on a month-to-month basis, so you won’t be locked in for an extended period of time. It also doesn’t require any equipment or installation charges, since all you need is Internet access and a PS3 or PS4.

The Vue beta will begin in November for select PS3 and PS4 owners. A wider rollout is planned for later, starting in New York and followed by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Vue will later be available for iPad, as well as more Sony and non-Sony devices.

“In my opinion, we will continue to see the number of Over The Top (OTT) video options continue to grow. This is a wonderful thing for consumers, but it threatens one of the core revenue streams of companies like Time Warner Cable, Comcast (recently bought Time Warner Cable) Verizon FIOS, AT&T, DISH, DirecTV and other “traditional”  video service providers. By the time most Millennials reach their 30s and 40s, the way video is consumed will have changed completely, and so will the revenue models.”
Steve Copertino, Former Cable Industry Executive

View full article on GameSpot

Will Google+ Rule the World?

Following is an article from Ad Age on Google+ and a link to a demo of  Google+.


Google+ image







It looks like Facebook is in for some real competition in the coming months. Google+ is in a closed friendly-user trial right now. They are gathering feedback and tweaking it, but soon it will be available to everyone and Google will know more about us  and our behaviors than anyone ever has.

How Google+ Will Transform Search and Search Marketing

What Search Giant’s Social Foray Means Behind the Scenes
By:            Ad Age               Published: July 21, 2011

Google+ is gaining users faster than any social network ever before. After many stumbles, Google has finally built a social network that delivers value to consumers. That makes Google+ a bigger competitor to Facebook than anything we’ve seen.

So far, a lot of Google+ coverage has debated its value, and examined the network from a consumer and tactical standpoint. Less scrutinized is the way the launch of Google+ could end up enhancing the competitive positioning and value of Google’s search business, giving it an unprecedented view of consumer interest, social graph, intent data and conversion data.

What you want vs. what you like
The biggest difference between Google and Facebook right now is that thanks to search intent data, Google knows what consumers want. Facebook, on the other hand, has a very clear understanding of what users like and who they know. Google+ is the first step for Google to close this gap. It aims to build out a complete profile of Google’s users, giving Google access to profile data, likes, interests, and friends.

Google+ integrates across all of Google’s products to make sharing easier and more relevant, but also to add value to Google search. If Google can incorporate data from the social graph to deliver more relevant results, it will have a product competitive with Bing’s Facebook integration . This is of critical importance in order for Google to maintain search market share and growth by improving relevancy and personalization of search results vs. the aggressive challenger Bing.

In my opinion, Google is interested primarily in building user profile data to deliver more relevant and personalized search results with better, more relevant advertising. Studying Google+ and collecting even more consumer data empowers the company to integrate its data for a better consumer experience and advertising across all their products, from search to social to mobile and even to email.

Engagement and ROI
One major issue with Google+ is the absence of brand and corporate pages. If Google wants to compete with Facebook, these pages are crucial. Facebook works as an advertising platform because it goes far beyond traditional display. Rather, it’s an engagement platform where brands and advertisers interact with consumers.

Adding brand pages to Google+ will finally give Google a branding engagement platform. Right now, Google’s big revenue business is search, which relies on clicks to measure ROI and advertising success, whereas Google+ can offer a branding platform where the campaign goal is engagement rather than immediate ROI.

Once brand pages are launched and populated, the next logical step is to build an ad platform that encourages engagement and incorporates the social graph. With this, brands can appeal to consumers by using interest data — the things consumers say they actually like — just as we see on Facebook. The difference is that Google can target ads based on consumer intent data, at a higher level of relevancy than is possible on Facebook. An engagement model based on social and search intent data will improve the efficiency and efficacy of social advertising, in terms of both relevancy and performance.

Keys to success
One thing lost in Google+’s rapid growth is the importance of user engagement and time spent. Success in social networking is not determined by total number of users. Twitter has tons of registered users, but a very small percentage is responsible for the majority of activity. Google+ must regularly engage consumers, or the content loses relevancy and thus its power as a branding tool. Without broad and regular participation, scale and frequency (and successful advertising) become impossible.

The key to Facebook’s success is not just the social interest and social graph data, but the tremendous amount of time users spend on the network. That time creates the advertising opportunities. The ultimate measure of success would be for Google+ to become the first social network consumers visit when they go online. It’s a similar obstacle in search, where Google owns 65 percent of the market, compared to Yahoo’s 15 percent. Being second place is far different from being the industry leader, and Google is already late to the social game.

Google+ has several other demerits, which is to be expected for a brand new product. The system doesn’t recognize corporate Gmail addresses, a fact that agitates against its “easy-to-use” premise, especially for corporate Gmail power users. Google is also pushing the limits of data and privacy, given its recent FTC investigation. Consumers should be concerned about giving too much personal, professional and social data to one entity, and Google is already collecting data on search queries, mining usage data across its networks, purchasing data from third parties, collecting conversion data from Google analytics, taking impression and click data from its Doubleclick ad-serving product. Thanks to Google+, it will soon also know what you do, who you are, and who you know. That’s frightening from a consumer standpoint, especially if Google+ becomes the top social network.

There’s also the chance that Google could stretch itself too thin. This moment is oddly reminiscent of the time that Yahoo tried to become a portal, a search engine, and everything at once. Ultimately it diluted its brand and its position in the industry. Social networking is Facebook’s core business, and it has a massive head start and loyalty from all the core demographics.

But we’ve seen Google topple web titans before, so Google+ unseating Facebook is not outside the realm of possibility. The biggest and most important aspect of Google+ is that Facebook is no longer the only channel on TV worth watching. Strong competition leads to innovation, and a Facebook/Google+ battle will lead to a better consumer social networking experience, as well as improved advertising results and options. Google+ has value, and we look forward to further developments, innovation and continued growth.

Google+ demo

Service is King

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”

– Henry Ford

I thought I would add worthwhile quotes on a periodic basis.
– Steve Copertino


How About Some More Old School Social Networking

What the world doesn’t need right now is another “news” report on Charlie Sheen and his “tiger blood” and “winning” or another article about how important it is for all of us to embrace social networking sites. So, I decided instead to write a short piece on social networking, old school style.

If you are over 40 years old, odds are you remember the days when things moved more slowly and people stopped to chat in the streets of rural and urban communities, or met at the old neighborhood coffee shop before work and on weekends – just to talk in person, imagine that. If you are over 50 you probably also remember how people used to sit on their front porches in the evening and on weekends and socialize with their neighbors and passersby. Even if you are only 30, you remember chatting around the water cooler or coffee machine or going out to lunch with co-workers, but these activities are also in decline. Who has time for that anymore with all those emails, projects and back-to-back meetings waiting for us?

Today, in the information age with multiple electronic devices at arms-reach and a demand for ever-increasing productivity, old school social networking has been replaced by digital social networking from a mobile device or a laptop, often while multi-tasking on one or more other business and/or personal tasks. As a Father of two teenage children I have more than a little concern about the long term implications on the “people” skills of the Millennials generation, since they never experienced old school social networking first hand.

Old School Social Networking is Not Dead

The other day, my friend Veronique made an observation about the local Starbucks in my town. She noted how people of all ages were actually sitting around at the tables and having conversations with what looked like a mix of friends and family. Yes, there were also people there with their laptops or smart phones, but they were actually in the minority. We got to talking about it and noted how Starbucks has managed to replace or preserve if you wish a small piece of good old face-to-face social networking. This is perhaps more true of Starbucks stores located in rural communities than those located in cities, but that was and is one of the reasons people move to the suburbs anyway, to be part of a community and I don’t mean a virtual community.

 Friends enjoying the Starbucks experience


So in a world where Facebook has over 500 million users – that’s 1 in 12 people on the planet, and Charlie Sheen was able to get 1 million followers in his first 24 hours on Twitter, I thought it was worth recognizing and even celebrating the fact that Starbucks does more than just sell rather expensive brews of coffee with funny names – they also preserve a much needed piece of Americana.

It’s worth noting that even as Starbucks has worked to reinvent themselves over the years by selling product line extensions and even updating their logo, they did not give in to the temptation to take away the chairs, tables and couches to instead display and perhaps sell more “stuff”. That would make them just another retailer. Maybe there is a lesson here for all of us. Most people don’t just go to Starbucks to get good coffee. They go for the experience and the atmosphere and are willing to pay a premium for that, even in a recession. That’s the power of a great brand!

Thank you Starbucks!

Written by Steven Copertino, Digital Marketer (no kidding)

Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows

Attention, multitaskers (if you can pay attention, that is): Your brain may be in trouble.

people multitasking

People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time, a group of Stanford researchers has found.

High-tech jugglers are everywhere – keeping up several e-mail and instant message conversations at once, text messaging while watching television and jumping from one website to another while plowing through homework assignments.

But after putting about 100 students through a series of three tests, the researchers realized those heavy media multitaskers are paying a big mental price.

“They’re suckers for irrelevancy,” said communication Professor Clifford Nass, one of the researchers whose findings are published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Everything distracts them.”

Social scientists have long assumed that it’s impossible to process more than one string of information at a time. The brain just can’t do it. But many researchers have guessed that people who appear to multitask must have superb control over what they think about and what they pay attention to.

So Nass and his colleagues, Eyal Ophir and Anthony Wagner, set out to learn what gives multitaskers their edge. What is their gift?

“We kept looking for what they’re better at, and we didn’t find it,” said Ophir, the study’s lead author and a researcher in Stanford’s Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Lab.

In each of their tests, the researchers split their subjects into two groups: those who regularly do a lot of media multitasking and those who don’t.

In one experiment, the groups were shown sets of two red rectangles alone or surrounded by two, four or six blue rectangles. Each configuration was flashed twice, and the participants had to determine whether the two red rectangles in the second frame were in a different position than in the first frame.

They were told to ignore the blue rectangles, and the low multitaskers had no problem doing that. But the high multitaskers were constantly distracted by the irrelevant blue images. Their performance was horrible.

Because the high multitaskers showed they couldn’t ignore things, the researchers figured they were better at storing and organizing information. Maybe they had better memories.

The second test proved that theory wrong. After being shown sequences of alphabetical letters, the high multitaskers did a lousy job at remembering when a letter was making a repeat appearance.

“The low multitaskers did great,” Ophir said. “The high multitaskers were doing worse and worse the further they went along because they kept seeing more letters and had difficulty keeping them sorted in their brains.”

Puzzled but not yet stumped on why the heavy multitaskers weren’t performing well, the researchers conducted a third test. If the heavy multitaskers couldn’t filter out irrelevant information or organize their memories, perhaps they excelled at switching from one thing to another faster and better than anyone else.

Wrong again, the study found.

The test subjects were shown images of letters and numbers at the same time and instructed what to focus on. When they were told to pay attention to numbers, they had to determine if the digits were even or odd. When told to concentrate on letters, they had to say whether they were vowels or consonants.

Again, the heavy multitaskers underperformed the light multitaskers.

“They couldn’t help thinking about the task they weren’t doing,” Ophir said. “The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can’t keep things separate in their minds.”

The researchers are still studying whether chronic media multitaskers are born with an inability to concentrate or are damaging their cognitive control by willingly taking in so much at once. But they’re convinced the minds of multitaskers are not working as well as they could.

“When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal,” said Wagner, an associate professor of psychology. “That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information.”

So maybe it’s time to stop e-mailing if you’re following the game on TV, and rethink singing along with the radio if you’re reading the latest news online. By doing less, you might accomplish more.

Contact: Adam Gorlick, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-0224,

How did Chrysler Convince Eminem to Partner with them after Turning Down Over 100 Other Offers to use “Lose Yourself”?

A look behind the scenes reveals how Chrysler CEO and CMO, Olivier Francois convinced Eminem and Joel Martin, principal of Eight Mile, to partner with him on what was my absolute favorite Super Bowl ad. It had great energy and conviction and established a real emotional connection with me and many other viewers – something most of the Super Bowl ads that day were unable to do and that’s why this ad was/is memorable.

Previously, Eminem and Mr. Martin had turned down over 100 deals to use the song “Lose Yourself” for promotional purposes. So how did Mr. Francois, who is French and has only been on the job for 15 months convince them to partner with him and Chrysler? Below is a great Ad Age article about what I view as true leadership and smart risk-taking!  – Steve Copertino

Here is the full 2:06 ad that ran in the Super Bowl – another bold move.

How Chrysler Chief Olivier Francois Is Selling Detroit

‘You’ve Got to Tell Stories That Grab People by the Collar,’ Says Risk-Taking CEO

By David Kiley
Published: February 21, 2011

Olivier Francois
Olivier Francois                                                      photo by: Ray Gordon


Joel Martin, principal of Eight Mile Style Music and co-owner of Eminem’s song catalog, is used to getting the cold shoulder from Michigan automakers who have generally found the rap artist’s song lyrics too spicy for their mainstream audiences. So, imagine his surprise when he got a call on his cellphone one day last December from an assistant at his Ferndale, Mich., office that said “The president of Chrysler is here looking for you.”

The assistant didn’t have it quite right. Olivier François is CEO of the Chrysler brand, as well as chief marketing officer for all of Chrysler, which includes the Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands. He’s also CEO of Fiat’s Lancia brand in Europe and CMO of Fiat. And to know how Mr. François operates is to know that it was very much in character for him to drive over to Mr. Martin’s office with no appointment, hoping, or even expecting, that he would be there to discuss using a classic Eminem song, “Lose Yourself,” in a Super Bowl ad. In the end, the meeting took place at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.

Mr. François, 49, on the job at Chrysler for 15 months, is gaining a reputation among his ad agencies, dealers and staff for surprising them and taking the kinds of risks that make them feel more confident than they ever did while owned by German carmaker Daimler or private-equity firm Cerberus Capital. His latest roll of the dice was a two-minute, $9 million Super Bowl ad, featuring Eminem’s anthem and the rap star himself, to launch a new strategy and tagline around the Chrysler brand: “Imported From Detroit.”

“He’s a maniac,” said Mr. Martin of Mr. François, noting that he and Eminem turned down over 100 deals to use the song in ads before agreeing to sell it to Chrysler. “The whole thing had a surreal quality to it … this French guy and all this he was telling us about loving Detroit and how important [Eminem] is to the city.” If it weren’t for Mr. François’s salesmanship, “We never would have done it,” he said.

While the gambit took a lot of ad-watchers off-guard, the idea of featuring the city of Detroit and playing up the heritage and history of making cars is not a new idea. “This idea has come up for Chrysler, Chevrolet and Pontiac a handful of times in the last 20 years,” said Gary Topolewski, an independent creative director who has worked on Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and other car brands. “But it always got shot down by the executives who have worked in Detroit their whole lives, fearing it wouldn’t play on the coasts.”

But Mr. François greenlighted the idea, which originated with Wieden & Kennedy.

“Maybe it takes people from outside the city to see the possibilities and passion,” said Mr. François. Of the four brands he took over, Chrysler has been the biggest challenge. It is not generally viewed as a luxury brand, but he is positioning it as “new” luxury. “Beautiful, passionate design and comfort for people who don’t forget where they came from,” said the Paris-born Mr. François, who thought he would enter the diplomatic corps after getting a political science degree in the late 1980s. An advertising and marketing degree from Sorbonnes Celsa, however, led him to Citroen and then Fiat.

When Fiat took control of Chrysler after the federally assisted bankruptcy, it didn’t take long for Mr. François to hit on the need to change the way the company thought about its messaging. Long-time agency BBDO was served notice after working on the Chrysler business for 65 years. A review ensued in which agencies had to prepare strategies for Chrysler, Dodge and Ram Truck brands. The Richards Group of Dallas won Ram; Fallon Worldwide took Chrysler and Wieden & Kennedy took on Dodge. Global Hue retained Jeep and multicultural duties.

Since then, Mr. François has restructured things, separating agencies by job rather than brand. Wieden now leads on all national branding for Chrysler and Dodge. Global Hue remains lead agency on Jeep, though Wieden produced the launch campaign for Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2010, and will continue to compete for national Jeep model launches. Doner, Southfield, Mich., replaced Fallon when the latter resigned Chrysler to take on General Motors’ Cadillac, and handles the retail-driven ads for all four brands. Richards retains Ram, with the thinking that the truck market is a unique ad space, and also because Chrysler plans to introduce more models — such as commercial vans — under the “Ram” brand. And Global Hue handles multicultural ads on all four brands.

“Things sorted themselves out based on which agency was doing the best job at each function,” said Mr. François, who admits it can be tough for agencies to work with him because of how much he gets involved “as a creator.”

Quick on his feet
He is known for making fast decisions mostly on instinct. “Meetings tend to run fast, and ideas don’t get a lot of wind-up,” said Richards Group CEO Stan Richards. In November 2009, Mr. François approved putting “rip” videos (mood videos created with stock photography and voiced by agency staff used largely for internal use) produced by Richards for Ram truck and Global Hue for Jeep on national TV as commercials despite low production values. “I was shocked, but I did not object,” said Mr. Richards, whose voice was on the ad, with a laugh.

Last August, Mr. François approved an idea after just a few minutes of brainstorming with Wieden staffers on how to respond to protests from animal-rights groups over the use of a chimp in a Dodge retail ad — the chimp was removed, but the clothes he was wearing were left behind, giving the ad an odd “invisible chimp” effect. Not only was PETA pleased, but the new commercial went viral; the original hadn’t. And for an Independence Day-timed Dodge ad, he approved a spot showing George Washington leading a column of Continental soldiers into battle against British redcoats driving Dodge Challengers. “Some of our team had a lot of doubts, but I knew right away and approved it off the storyboards,” Mr. François said.

Advertising “American” for Detroit automakers has been a kind of taboo, especially since, until recently, they badly lagged Asian companies such as Toyota and Honda. But Mr. François and his agencies have injected images of Americana and messages of pride, hard work and reward into their ads. “We’re from America,” proclaimed the Super Bowl ad. “The things that make us American are the things we make,” go the Jeep ads. Mr. François hints that he has much more in store to link the Chrysler brand to the comeback of the city of Detroit, in which he wants Chrysler to be a key player.

“You can do this sort of thing very badly,” said independent marketing consultant Dennis Keene. “But I have to say that Chrysler is bringing so much art to the messaging that I think it flies, though they are walking right on the line.”

Doner CEO David Demuth says working with Mr. François is “like working with a creative director on the client side.” He doesn’t just approve or reject ideas or storyboards like most CMOs. For example, trained early in his life in music, Mr. François sits down with composers and tells them exactly what he wants or is looking for. For the Super Bowl ad, he worked with composer Luis Resto on the adaptation of “Lose Yourself.”

The ad did not include Eminem’s lyrics, just the music. Wieden cast Detroit gospel choir Selected By God to perform in the Super Bowl ad, but it was Mr. François, said Mr. Resto, who directed the crescendo leading into Eminem’s line: “This is the Motor City. This is what we do.” Added Mr. Resto, “How many car marketing guys can sit down and tell you why he wants a ‘melancholy piano’…that was a first for me.” Indeed, Mr. François, who does not play piano, has nevertheless composed or co-composed music for numerous Lancia and Fiat ads. He gets no royalties or payments.

What he’s doing is importing the strategy to Chrysler that he has long used in Europe on Lancia ads. “You’ve got to tell stories that grab people by the collar, and that’s what we try to do,” said Mr. François. In a 2007 ad for the Lancia, he approached fashion designer and gay icon Stefan Gabbana to appear in an ad. Mr. Gabbana initially refused. But after Mr. François laid out the storyline of the ad in which Mr. Gabbana, driving a Lancia Delta, would be tempted by a beautiful woman and end up in a passionate kiss, he not only agreed, he agreed to do it for no fee. The ad created a publicity sensation in Europe and a sequel was produced.

Mr. François coyly said he does not like to use “spokespeople.” But his two ever-present BlackBerrys run deep with celebrities who have appeared in his ads: Carla Bruni Sarkozy, Richard Gere and even the Dalai Llama. Of those, only Mr. Gere took a fee, and it was for his charity. Even Eminem sold Chrysler rights to his song for 20% of what he could have gotten just to be part of the ad. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody directed a Chrysler ad late last year, his commercial directing debut, and voiced the ad as well.

No stranger to risks
Clearly Mr. François doesn’t mind poking at beehives. He launched the Richard Gere ad spotlighting the plight of Tibet the week the Beijing Olympics kicked off. And for the past three years he created Lancia ads to run the week of the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to spotlight the imprisonment of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a Myanmar pro-democracy leader. The ads show laureates arriving in Lancias, and close to show a Lancia’s rear door opening with no laureate riding in the backseat, representing Ms. Suu Kyi’s absence. Mr. François was editing the latest ad when he got word Ms. Suu Kyi would be released, necessitating fast changes to the ad, which he directed from a Delta Airlines flight.

Given his track record, few doubt Mr. François’ ability to get attention for Chrysler’s slowly recovering brands. The Super Bowl ad, for example, generated more online buzz and news coverage than Chevy’s five ads combined. Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles defends Mr. François’s penchant for risk-taking. “People get all the product information they need online … the role of the ads should be to light a fire under them, and drive them online to check us out.”

But Mr. François has to turn those bursts of attention into sales and favorable opinion. Chrysler’s retail market share before Fiat took it over in 2009 was 8.9%, according to Automotive News figures, and by 2010, it hit 9.4%. In the three years Mr. François ran Citroen in Italy, the brand more than doubled market share to 6.5%.

The Chrysler-Fiat team has worked at breakneck pace since summer 2009 to make dramatic improvements to core vehicles. The 300 makeover alone cost $1 billion. “We are no longer ashamed of the products we are selling,” said brutally frank CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The biggest obstacle is the mostly terrible quality ratings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. The makeover has corrected many past sins, but it will take two to three years for the ratings to move up to reflect it because of how the organizations work their rankings, and even longer for consumers to trust.

Chrysler this year plans to do its initial public offering in the fall. It’s imperative that institutional investors and stock analysts believe Mr. Marchionne’s team and operation is headed in the right direction. Not only do retail sales need to climb, but the overall operation, from product to marketing, needs to have credibility with investors and the public.

Last year, Mr. François commissioned a corporate ad effort from Gotham, New York, but decided not to run it, deciding instead to plow the money into the Jeep Grand Cherokee launch. Said one Chrysler insider, “He knows where the priorities are: sales.”