Video: GM Reverses Course, Gives 'Chevy' Back To America

October 28, 2010
Screencap from Chevrolet's 'Chevy Runs Deep' ad

Screencap from Chevrolet's 'Chevy Runs Deep' ad

Remember a few months ago when word leaked out that Chevrolet was trying to put the kabosh on the word "Chevy"? It turned out that GM's marketing team was trying to tidy up the brand, and wanted employees to use only the word "Chevrolet" in official communications. The backlash from fans was huge, but there was an upside for Chevrolet: they quickly learned that while the "Chevrolet" brand might need buffing, "Chevy" is doing just fine.

And so, it's not really surprising that Chevrolet's newest ad campaign -- which debuted last night  during the World Series and is expected to cost more than the brand's entire marketing budget for 2008 -- is built on the word "Chevy". (Then again, the company often uses the "Chevy" nickname in its baseball advertising, as it did in the outstanding Chevy Baseball app.)

In many ways, the nickname is a better representation of the brand than "Chevrolet": it's a little rougher, a little tougher, and far more colloquial. We like it.

We're not so sure about the new "Chevy Runs Deep" theme, though. In theory, we understand how it ties into the :60 spot that ran last night, but it doesn't work so well in practice. Frankly, the ad and the tagline don't talk to one another -- or if they do, neither is listening.

Then again, with that clunky ad copy, we're not sure who the ad is talking to anyway. Case in point: "Today the American character is no less strong, and Chevrolet continues as an expression of the best of it". That's copy written by committee -- a committee of English teachers.

But don't take our word for it: listen to the dulcet tones of Tim Allen and weigh in for yourself:

P.S. If you want to read a little more about this, check this interview with Chris Perry, Chevrolet's VP of marketing, and  Jeff Goodby from marketing firm Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Funny, but  the interviewer doesn't bring up the Chevrolet/Chevy issue at all.

* * * * *   

'Chevy Runs Deep' in the 2010 MLB World Series

New marketing campaign tells the story of an all-American brand

DETROITOct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevrolet is launching new advertising tonight during the first game of the 2010 Major League Baseball World Series.  The campaign is inspired by a new brand theme, "Chevy Runs Deep," and features important new Chevrolet products such as the Cruze compact car and the Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability.

"The World Series is a defining piece of American culture," said Joel Ewanick, vice president, U.S. Marketing.  "It has a story, a soul and a connection to every generation – just like Chevrolet.  You can't get a better fit than Chevy and baseball.  It's the perfect opportunity to talk about Chevy's commitment to America and showcase our newest cars, trucks and crossovers."

Created by Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, the new campaign features a :60 Chevrolet brand "anthem" spot that spans 100 years of Chevrolet history, including a peek into the brand's future;  three :30 spots that illuminate Chevy's connection to defining moments in American life; a :30 spot related to the brand's long-time relationship with baseball, and a :30 spot starring the Volt.  

Television and movie star Tim Allen will be "the voice of Chevrolet" in the new ads, a role he debuted in the first Cruze ads which began airing in September.

In addition to television, "Chevy Runs Deep" will have a presence in digital, print, out-of-home and social media during the World Series.  

"As we prepare for Chevrolet's centennial in 2011, we're beginning a new chapter in Chevy history," Ewanick said.  "This is a brand that has touched all Americans.  We're proud of our heritage and eager to let people know how we can create a better future through vehicles like the Cruze, Volt and other fuel-efficient models that will be coming soon, including a new sub-compact car and the Spark.  We believe this campaign provides a great platform to tell that story."

"We are incredibly excited to be part of this effort," said Jeff Goodby, co-chairman, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.  "Chevy has always had a unique connection with our country.  Today, Chevy delivers more relevant products and innovation to more people than any other car company."


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