‘Real People’ Help Chevrolet Sell New Equinox, Too – Forbes

Posted: Thursday, May 04, 2017

At some point, Chevrolet will run out of Americans who will be genuinely surprised at how stylish, and capable, and powerful, and fuel-efficient — and just good overall — the brand’s vehicles are. Maybe that’s when Chevy will end the “Real People, Not Actors” advertising campaign that has been running for more than two years and which its marketers credit for helping Chevrolet beef up its retail market share and favorable opinions.

But for now, Chevrolet is happy to apply the campaign’s modus operandi to the crucial launch of the 2018 version of its Equinox SUV. In the first TV ad for the new version, titled “Everybody, Everywhere,” a series of “real people” express amazement at the many features of Equinox that seem to make it a perfect choice for the various reasons that Americans want a great utility vehicle, from taking snowboards to the mountains to going to the mall to hauling gear to the beach. They marvel at its various features, ranging from all-wheel drive to onboard WiFi to a slick new design.

“It delivers on a variety of things, everything that compact SUV shoppers demand: design, capability, technology and safety,” Paul Edwards, vice president of Chevrolet marketing in the US, told me. “It needs to perform well in all those different categories.”

The Equinox utility vehicle is Chevrolet’s highest-selling retail nameplate once again this year, behind the monster results of the Silverado pickup series. So as the new model comes into full-volume deliveries in U.S. dealerships, it’s crucial for the General Motors-owned mainstream brand to get it right when launching the marketing behind a new version of a vehicle that has sold more than two million units.

And Edwards is happy to have the equity established by “Real People, Not Actors” to build upon.

“‘Like a Rock’ was the longest-running theme for Chevrolet, about 15 years,” he said. “But the reality is it’s been more than 30 years since we were in the marketplace with one cohesive campaign. We’re building on ‘Find New Roads’ and now are two years into ‘Real People, Not Actors,’ a specific US campaign aimed at breaking apart the gap between today’s perceptions of Chevrolet and the reality. It’s been a phenomenal success — exposing the real Chevrolet of today through provocative experiments and leveraging real people. No one is more believable or more emotive about today’s Chevrolet than real people. It’s powerful in closing the perception gap.”

Over the last two years Chevrolet has gained nearly a full point of retail market share, from 10.3 percent in 2015 to 11.2 percent in 2016, Edwards noted, reflecting sales of 120,000 incremental units.

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