A while back (but not too far back, this is still a young blog), I posted to complain about the strategic misstep Chevy was making with its irritating “This is Our Country” ad campaign.
But it wasn’t all negativity:
“The new Chevy Malibu isn’t a bad looking car at all…[there is] the faint scent of opportunity [for Chevy]. With Toyota’s quality declining, with styling that is far better than the 31 flavors of vanilla Ford and Toyota lineup, and with some good luck Chevy could be in the mix. If only people like me considered buying a Chevy. Because we don’t.”
The opportunity was there, but it was all to do for Campbell-Ewald as they launched the new Malibu. Astute reader John posted about the breaking campaign, and I saw this spot last night during the World Series:
There are a lot of things I like about this ad, starting with the lack of annoying Mellencamp songs and hackneyed Americana images.
I also like that it is not the cliched “car slaloming around picturesque corners” or “car getting built by men in white lab coats” that we all know and love. It also builds a fun, interesting story that leads up with some nice, quick beauty shots of the Malibu. Finally, the failed Dukes of Hazzard hood slide by one of the robbers is classic.
That said, there are some things that I don’t like about this ad.
Like showing an early-90s Oldsmobile as the bland getaway car. Why not the new, equally as bland, Toyota or Honda? It’s cute that GM is willing to make fun of itself, but now that you finally have a good looking car to tout, why not tout it? Get aggressive. Go big or go home.
I also wanted to see more of the Malibu. Though I do like the teasing aspect of the spot, it’s more appropriate for an Audi or BMW. Because those are cars that people aspire to. Based on the last-model Malibu, making fun of that Oldsmobile hits a little close to home. I need to see the car – not for the whole spot, but for a little longer than the quick cuts I got from the ad. Give me visual proof that I should consider Chevy (and feel good about it).
Those criticisms aside, on the whole I do like this spot from a creative point of view. Will it sell Chevys? I think that the spots that come after the teasers are going to decide that one.
Oh, and the actual product itself, its performance and initial quality. Advertising can’t do everything.