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Legendary Dodge Brothers’ Spirit Lives on in ‘Ballroom –- They Dreamed Big’ Campaign [Video]

The spirit of the legendary John and Horace Dodge brothers lives on in the new “Ballroom – They Dreamed Big” ad campaign Introducing the 2015 Dodge Challenger. (Photo: Dodge/Chrysler LLC)

A century after Michigan native John and Horace Dodge created the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company, their spirit lives on in a new advertising campaign being launched today in television spots for the 2015 Dodge Challenger.

The cinematic “Ballroom –- They Dreamed Big” is the first ad in a series capturing the spirit and passion the Dodges had for making great cars and how that vision is still driving the Dodge brand.

Niles Roots, Motor City Efforts

The Dodge brothers were born into a family of machinists and grew up in Niles .

They eventually moved on elsewhere in Michigan before ending up in Detroit in 1886.

The “Ballroom — They Dreamed Big” spot captures the passion John and Horace Dodge had for making great cars and how their vision still drives the Dodge brand today. (Photo: Dodge/Chrysler LLC)
By 1896, the Dodges and their partner, Harold Evans, began manufacturing Evans & Dodge Bicycles with new wheel bearings Horace invented.

The Dodge brothers opened their own machine shop in 1901. Their first automotive customer was Ransom Eli Olds and his Olds Motor Works. The brothers then supplied parts to Henry Ford. By 1913, the Dodges supplied Ford with most of the components used in building his Ford Motor Company cars.

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company was incorporated in June 1914. On Nov. 14, 1914, their first car, nicknamed “Old Betsy,” rolled out of the plant.

By 1917, Dodge was the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the United States.

Both died in 1920, John in January at the age of 55 and Horace in December at 52 years old.

Imagining Pride

The 2015 Dodge Challenger is being highlighted in Dodge’s “Ballroom — They Dreamed Big” campaign spots. (Photo: Dodge/Chrysler, LLC)
The campaign imagines the Dodge brothers would be proud of the new 2015 Dodge Challenger and 2015 Dodge muscle cars.

“Dodge has a very specific DNA, a bloodline that traces back to the Dodge brothers’ passion for making great cars,” said Olivier Francois, the chief marketing officer for Chrysler Group LLC. “Everything Dodge does today honors John and Horace Dodge’s legacy.”

In the campaign, John Dodge is portrayed by Tyler Bryan and Horace Dodge by Joe Coffery.

“Ballroom –- They Dreamed Big” tells an imaginary tale of the Dodges celebrating their success with friends 100 years ago.

The voiceover says,

As boys, the Dodge brothers made their own bicycles … John went on to hold office, Horace supported the orchestra. They raced yachts. Their lives were big, but their dreams were even bigger.”

Debuting on Football Games’ Broadcasts

“Ballroom –- They Dreamed Big” is a 30-second spot debuting today on CBS college football games and running Sunday on Fox, NBC and CBS NFL game broadcasts.

It will continue to air in October on late night, prime time, sports and cable programs, company officials said.

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