Marketing to truck fans can be tough. They tend to be well-informed shoppers and very brand loyal, so convincing them to switch brands or models has to be more than smoke and mirrors; automakers have to talk the talk and walk the walk. That's exactly what Campbell-Ewald is hoping to do with its new "Max and Al" campaign for the Chevy Silverado.
The campaign centers around two guys: Max and Al, stand-ins for the truck's Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission. Through a series of ads, tweets, Facebook posts, and a new microsite, MaxAndAl.com, Max and Al act out the life of an everyday Chevy Silverado, handily carring pallettes of lumber across construction sites and chugging quarts of oil at the end of a long day. It's clever, it's well-executed, and it's pretty damn funny. (There's also an iPhone app in the works.)
Even better, the campaign stars Craig Robinson (whom you might remember from Pineapple Express and Hot Tub Time Machine) and Patrick Warburton (who should sound especially familiar to anyone who's ever watched Family Guy or Venture Brothers). Add some intentionally clunky acting and a touch of Southern California landscape -- a la Russ Meyer or anything filmed in the 1970s -- and you've got retro comedy gold.
But it's not just funny: according to Campbell-Ewald's Michael Stelmaszek, the campaign connects with truck fans by speaking their language. Stelmaszek says that truck owners spend a good bit of time making fun of each other's rides: "Truck guys have this kind of debate with one another all the time. And they are well-informed consumers. You can look at it as a bit of an inside joke."
We won't spoil all the fun by walking you through every single element of the campaign, but we highly recommend the duo's Twitter feed (surely scripted by Campbell-Ewald, but whatevs) the videos on Chevy's YouTube channel. Here's a glimpse of the latter, to show you what's in store:[MaxAndAl, MediaPost]