By on May 20, 2010

Nearly a month after ditching Chevy’s longtime ad agency Campbell-Ewald in favor of Publicis, GM management is said to be eying another change in strategy for its most important brand, as new Marketing boss Joel Ewanick begins making his presence felt. Sources tell AdAge that Ewanick is considering moving creative responsibilities for the $600m Chevy account from Publicis to Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, although GM has not yet confirmed any such move. Anonymous GM execs tell AdAge:

They told him he could have virtual carte blanche in decision-making, and he’s already exercising his power to do so. He’s surrounding himself with people he feels most comfortable with and trusts… He didn’t pick Publicis, he inherited it.

Focusing on Chevy, and not being afraid to shake things up are two very encouraging signs from Ewanick. Having inherited former Marketing boss Susan Docherty’s gestating campaign centered around the line “Excellence for Everyone” and some intensely unmemorable Publicis ads, Ewanick clearly needs to bring the thunder, and according to AdAge, all of GM’s agencies are in a tizzy over the shake-up.

The implication that Ewanick is moving to Goodby Silverstein out of a sense of comfort and trust holds a certain amount of water: the firm handled creative duties during Ewanick’s tenure at both Porsche and Hyundai. But why ditch Publicis? Here’s a guess: This is one of Publicis’ ads for the Chevy Equinox…

…and though it’s not necessarily the worst ad ever, here is proof of just how unoriginal it is:

Thus far, nothing we’ve seen from Publicis has anything that will radically change perceptions about Chevrolet, and as this little juxtaposition proves, expecting something new and different from them isn’t wildly realistic. Strangely though, part of Ewanick’s re-shuffle is said to include moving retail and sponsorship ads back to Campbell-Ewald. While we wait for this all to pan out, consider this insight into the creation of Goodby Silverstein’s Hyundai Genesis ad campaign:

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7 Comments on “Chevy Ad Budget Moving Again?...”


  • avatar

    A proactive Marketing Director must be able to work hand-in-glove with the ad agency.

    In a culture where ads are approved by committee, any decent agency will do and mediocrity is guaranteed.

    For brilliant stuff, client and agency must be brilliant. It’s not good enough to have ideas. The client must be gutsy enough to accept them.

    Publicis is mediocre. Goodby, Silverstein are great.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Just the fact that a new previously successful individual from outside GM has been hired and given free rein over their domain is great news. I hope this process is repeated in other important areas. Yes Mark Reuss I’m talking about you.

  • avatar
    mdwheary

    If the purpose of advertising is to get your company’s product or service into the mind of the customer, the Hyundai ad has failed miserably.

    All I see are a couple of heads glued on sticks and some glib words that don’t entice me to buy anything.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Hey, it’s the stupid “Look in the glovebox” ad for the Equinox. That ad is pretty crappy, except for the voice of the unseen dad. I’m 99.9% sure that the person doing the voice is none other than Kevin McDonald from the Kids in the Hall.

    I think if anyone can sell Chevy’s current product lineup, it’s the former Hyundai marketing guy. Hopefully he’s successful.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    I recently saw a Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson and James May attempted to come up with a new VW commercial, in collaboration with VW’s marketing company.

    May asked, “Why can’t we just show the car zooming around on country roads?” The marketers responded by saying something along the lines of, “Every Volkswagen product advertisement must communicate some sort of universal truth about the product. It must speak to the consumer, not at them. It must demonstrate precision and efficiency. We don’t do cliche things like show cars driving around on country roads.”

    Very philosophical, very focused. VW always has had the best car advertising. Maybe GM should pick a company like that. Trouble is, they’d be hard pressed to find any “truths” about most of GM’s lineup.

  • avatar
    tedward

    My girlfriend works in post production, and from little I’ve seen, the client (company itself) as well as the agency both directly sign off on any spot. So when you see a cheap/unoriginal ad whoever commissioned it is getting exactly what they wanted to pay for.

    I’m sure that any agency knows who to go for director/editor wise if they want a significant “wow” factor. Hell, I could easily figure that out, and it’s certainly not what I do for a living. So basically I’m guessing that this isn’t really Publicis wanting to be boring so much as it is Chevy marketing either not wanting to pony up dough or wanting to play it conservative during a leadership switch.


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