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GM Says Just Stop with the Chevy, Already--It's Chevrolet [UPDATE]

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The car world loves a nickname: Volkswagen is "VW," Mercedes-Benz is simply "Benz," and BMWs are commonly called "Bimmers."

If General Motors' new marketing braintrust has its way, though, you'll stop using the word "Chevy."

The New York Times reports that Chevy marketing execs sent a memo to employees on Wednesday, asking them to stop using the popular diminutive for the storied GM brand.

And in a Tweet posted this morning, @GMBlogs tells the Twittersphere that "Because #Chevrolet is one of the fastest growing automotive brands globally, we will use #Chevrolet in internal and external communications."

In other words, no more Chevy Volt, no more Chevy Camaro, no more Chevy Malibu.

No more "Chevy," even, in the just-released Major League Baseball iPad app which GM sponsors, as seen here.

The move comes after months of turmoil in Chevrolet's marketing department. Campbell-Ewald, the agency of record, was broomed in favor of Publicis, but with the arrival of new Chevy management under GM CEO Ed Whitacre, that agency was released after about four weeks in favor of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

According to the memo cited by the Times, the memo flubs cites brands that regularly use nicknames for their products:

"When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding? Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer."

Coke is, of course, a common nickname for Coca-Cola.

It's unknown if GM has sent the memo to Don McLean, whose song "American Pie" probably is the most famous of dozens of songs using the word "Chevy." Or if they've sent it to Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, who probably did more for the proper pronunciation of the word "Chevy" than any single marketing executive in GM history.

They may not be able to even bring it up in a meeting without a fine: the Times reports there's a Loretta Young-ish "cuss-word" can that gets a quarter from any employee caught using the "C"-word.

______________________________

UPDATE: GM's just issued this press release, in which it tosses around the "Chevy" word plenty:

DETROIT -- Today’s emotional debate over a poorly worded memo on our use of the Chevrolet brand is a good reminder of how passionately people feel about Chevrolet.  It is a passion we share and one we do not take for granted.

We love Chevy.  In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name.  We deeply appreciate the emotional connections that millions of people have for Chevrolet and its products.

In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes.  The memo in question was one step in that process.

We hope people around the world will continue to fall in love with Chevrolets and smile when they call their favorite car, truck or crossover  “Chevy.”

 
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Comments (19)
  1. Well, GM needs to tell that to the people they are paying MILLIONS of $$$ to. Because, as of this morning, I did see a "CHEVY" commercial, and not a Chevrolet commercial. In order to get the word out more efficiently, it begins with the PR Campaign. However, seeing that even that's not being done right, I doubt this will catch up soon.
     
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  2. If you're going to name an American car company after a French guy, you're going to have to accept that the name will be mangled. How about this? Instead of wasting resources on silly marketing stuff, figure out how to lower the price of the Volt so you can actually sell it and make a profit. I don't care if you call it a Chevrolet, a Chevy or a Wookie, just make something that works and is affordable.
     
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  3. can i still call them CHERY? [sic]
     
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  4. CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!! CHEVY!!!
    ;-p
     
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  5. Some one has WAAAAYY to much time available to think up weird ideas. Give Em a broom and send them down to the floor.
     
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  6. I love how internal memos make it out immediately as if it was a press release. What's the world coming to when your own employees are so eager to leak out every email?
     
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  7. so americana GM is trying to act all sophisticated?? really??
     
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  8. think this is more about internal company messaging. no way "chevy" leaves america's vernacular. this isn't an instance of "federal express" acknowledging everyone say "fedex" and heading that way. it's the exact opposite.
     
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  9. They can't be serious, right? I think GM has much bigger problems than wondering whether ppl know a Chevy is a Chevrolet, which i think almost EVERYONE knows.. sheesh
     
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  10. So Funny 'GM's just issued this press release, in which it tosses around the "Chevy" word plenty.'
     
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  11. so funny
     
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  12. Probably being blown out of proportion, but still asinine. The fact that the memo actually mentions "Coke" is the height of unawareness. Which nimrod 28-yr-old "VP" at an ad agency dreamed THIS one up? And what will they do now that they've been canned?
     
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  13. This is what happens when a non-car guys are at the helm. Chevy already has great brand identity and who cares what people think of it, "globally,"? Another example of some idiot trying to make a name for himself with his out of the box thinking. Where did this come from-let me guess-NOT in Detroit?
     
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  14. My favorite folo-up: from now on the GMC Jimmy will henceforth be known as James.
     
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  15. Good thing they focus on the important stuff... Not!
     
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  16. No way around it, Chevy or Chevrolet this is great publicity for General Motors.
     
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  17. Drove my Chevrolet to the levy but the levy was dry and good ole boys drinking whiskey and rye singing this will be the day that i die
     
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  18. You guys should know that the real reason for this name situation is that China has a car company named "Chery" that will soon be competing with GM. So either GM doesn't want to compete with Chery or China doesn't want to compete with GM.
     
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  19. HAHAHA this is the funniest thing i've ever heard. Let me start by saying CHEVY is crap i have a 2001 CHEVY malibu or excuse me MALIPOO that has this lovely anti theft system that randomly honks locks doors and even makes my car fail to start....really fun with an infant child in the car stuck in 100 degree weather OMG GO CHEVY....You know what how about we just eliminate chevy from everything just close the place down....i'm so sick of this company i want to sue them and dont know hwo they need a recall....any ideas???? surf_angel98166@hotmail.com
     
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