Chevy Runs Deep. The Ads? Not So Much…

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Well, there’s nothing quite like being wrong, is there? Exactly a week ago I registered my (somewhat hesitant) support for Chevy’s new tagline, “Chevy Runs Deep,” and though I still believe that the tagline itself is better than anything else GM’s marketers have dreamed up in a while, I probably should have waited for the brand’s ads to come up out before weighing in. After all, any good (or good enough) idea is only as good as its execution… and these ads really don’t seem to move the game past some of Chevrolet’s previous cornball ad efforts. The main ad in the series (above) is as bland as an Impala’s interior, and does nothing to inspire respect for Chevy in contemporary (read: post-bailout) terms. Can “the strength of the nation” be found in every Chevrolet? If so, does that strength refer to something other than the government money that kept Chevrolet from the scrapheap of history? Instead of inspiring a bold approach, it seems that the “Don’t call it Chevy” moment simply pushed Chevy’s advertising back into gauzy pseudo-patriotism of its recent past. But don’t take it from me… hit the jump for a sampling of the latest Chevy Runs Deep ads.

The new ads seems to run from the vacuous…

…to the absurd…

…to the surreal. Do these guys realize that for a growing number of people, “the first Chevy” was something miserable from the company’s several-decade-long low point? More to the point, Americans are probably more likely to remember their last Chevy than their first one. Yes, loyalty is a huge part of what keeps Chevy viable, but there’s still a major disconnect between the brand’s loyalists and the sections of the market that left Chevy for Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Ford…. and these ads just don’t seem to bridge it.

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2 of 33 comments
  • Russycle Russycle on Nov 02, 2010

    I watched the first and last ads, that's all I could stand. The takeaway message: "We've made cars for a long time, and people used to like them". That might be enough to keep current owners coming back, but Chevy has to do better. I will say the last shot of the first ad, of the Camaro grill, was nicely done, and that's coming from someone who isn't a big Camaro fan. I'm assuming this campaign got the approval of GM's old guard, it certainly looks like old GM marketing. I wonder if Ewanick has the stones to come up with a campaign outside his new bosses' comfort zone.

  • Kkt Kkt on Nov 02, 2010

    "Runs deep" would be a great slogan... for Electric Boat.

  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.
  • ToolGuy Rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, and drywall dents sheet metal.