Warc, 8 May 2014
BEVERLY HILLS: Chevrolet, the automotive brand owned by General Motors, is emphasising values like authenticity and inclusiveness as it seeks to drive sales.
Tim Mahoney, the brand's global cmo and global leader for General Motors' marketing operations, discussed this issue while speaking at the 4A's recent Transformation 2014 conference, held in Beverly Hills.
"We've really strived for authenticity in our storytelling, because people can see through things when they're not authentic," he said.
In demonstration of this principle in action, one of the brand's recent TV spots, which debuted during the broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympics, featured real shoppers.
This commercial also represented a diverse range of families and lifestyles, rather than relying on the conventions of the automotive category. Mahoney was confident about making such a move, however.
"It wasn't that risky. We're going to market in a very authentic way," he said. (For more, including how Chevrolet sourced user-generated content from around the world, read Warc's exclusive report: Chevrolet develops a more inclusive global brand image.)
Chevrolet's new positioning is encapsulated by a fresh tagline that demonstrates its inclusive credentials: "The New Us - A Whole New Lineup for a Whole New World"
This shift was not welcomed by all consumers - as was similarly experienced by Cheerios, the cereal brand made by General Mills, when it depicted a multicultural family in a TV spot.
However, Mahoney suggested the wider response to Chevrolet's efforts have been positive, which has yielded an equally positive impact on its brand.
"I got a lot of letters," Mahoney said, "but at the same time, I also got a lot of support from various groups saying that it is making them think differently about Chevrolet than they had in years.
"At the end of the day, it's about changing people's perceptions a little bit."
Data sourced from Warc