After Chrysler scooped up some coveted 'street cred' in recent months, with the Chrysler 300C appearing in a Snoop Dogg video and rapper 50 Cent angling for a Dodge Charger, another of the carmaker's models, some observers now question Chrysler's decision to feature former boss Lee Iacocca - an octogenarian and inventor of the minivan - in its new ads, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

"Iacocca will resonate with people 40 and over, the Baby Boomers, but he won't necessarily resonate with those 40 and under," said Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst at Global Insight , told AP, adding: "It depends on who they're trying to attract. But their vehicles say Gen X. They're all about hip, cool, retro-looking things."

Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines told AP late on Theursday that the automaker was still finalising details of the $US75 million ad campaign, but said the ads, featuring Iacocca and actor Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame, already have been filmed and are expected to air soon. Iacocca and Alexander tout Chrysler's new discount programme, which allows consumers to buy vehicles at the employee rate until August 1.

Vines reportedly defended the choice of the 80-year-old Iacocca, saying even his 13-year-old daughter had heard of the industry icon who saved Chrysler from bankruptcy before retiring in 1992.

AP noted that Iacocca appeared in memorable ads throughout the 1980s with the signature tag line, "If you can find a better car, buy it," a line Alexander delivers in the current ads.

Vines told the Associated Press that company tests found consumers of all ages responded positively to Iacocca. The former chairman and chief executive has appeared frequently in ads since his Chrysler days, including campaign pitches for President Bush in 2000 and ads for his Olivio Premium Products, which makes olive oil-based spread.

"He is a guy that brought a company back, not a guy that brought a company down. That's legend, true legend," Vines told AP.

Bradley Johnson, an editor at large of Advertising Age magazine, told the news agency that using Iacocca gives Chrysler much-needed attention after it lagged in the employee-discount game.

AP noted that General Motors began offering an employee discount on June 1, and its sales climbed 41% last month. Ford  launched a similar deal last Tuesday, one day before Chrysler.

In contrast, the automaker on Thursday claimed to be the first to offer a similar programme in Canada, though it was quickly followed by Ford.

"I think Chrysler made a brilliant decision," Johnson told AP. "Chrysler has to find a way back, and it's brought back an icon to sell the cars."

Paul Ostasiewski, an assistant professor of marketing at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, told the Associated PressChrysler's options were limited. American consumers likely wouldn't respond to Chrysler's German chairman, Dieter Zetsche, and its last attempt to use a celebrity spokeswoman - singer Celine Dion - quickly bombed, Ostasiewski noted.

"Who do you have to represent you in this case? There are very few people who would fit the mould," he said.

According to AP, Ostasiewski said Iacocca likely won't pull in the young viewers automakers covet - and other analysts agreed.