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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie - and a Downer of an Ad Campaign. (chevy trucks mellencamp)
autoextremist ^ | 10192006

Posted on 10/19/2006 4:05:43 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie - and a Downer of an Ad Campaign.

Detroit. I really wanted to like the new Chevy truck campaign, "Our Country, Our Truck" - I really did. I mean on paper, what's not to like? With its new, original John Mellencamp song, "Our Country," and its American images, you'd think it would have all the ingredients of a classic Chevy truck ad campaign, right? Mellencamp even went out of his way to say, "This partnership with Chevy - an American company that is creating jobs and supporting our communities - makes perfect sense for a song that is all about standing up for the working people who are the backbone of our nation." Admirable stuff indeed. But, as well-intentioned as it is, the new Chevy truck campaign is one of the biggest advertising "misses" of the year.

There are actually two commercials in play here with this campaign - with two completely different edits and two completely different points of view. Let me explain. The lead commercial edit insists on giving us a history lesson as determined by Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's ad agency - as if we all needed to be reminded of Richard Nixon, the most disgraced President in history, Viet Nam and the worst natural disaster in our nation's history, Hurricane Katrina, among other things. And juxtaposed against those less-than-yearned-for images is the typical hard working, bordering-on-the-heroic imagery that Chevrolet has nurtured for decades for Chevy trucks - along with images of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and firemen - as if to make sure we are all paying attention.

This is all edited to the beat of a John Mellencamp song that, juxtaposed against a boatload of negative imagery, has no restorative, anthem-like qualities whatsoever - as a matter of fact, it becomes downright dirge-like in this context. The resulting spot is uninspired and uninspiring, a visual train wreck of monumental proportions.

It's one thing to conjure up images of our recent history; it's quite another when it is hoped that the average television viewer will make the connection between the tough times we've been through - and the healing benefits of driving a Chevy truck.

That's asking too much for any 60-second commercial execution.

Ironically, there's another edit in the new Chevy truck "Our Country" TV campaign that's a flat-out hit, but unless you watch "Football Night in America" on Sunday nights on NBC, you're not going to see it (I assume they're running it in conjunction with college football too). This edit, filled with images of small-town America football, as well as classic snippets of college and pro football, soars. The Mellencamp song positively comes alive, and the visuals jump out at you with stirring images on field - and off. This is the spot that should be in dominant rotation. This is the spot that aligns perfectly with Chevy trucks.

When I wrote this column over the weekend, I hadn't seen the stories in this week's Automotive News about the campaign and the controversy it has generated. I'm not surprised this campaign has generated plenty of controversy. I also wasn't surprised to read that Chevrolet and Campbell-Ewald executives were quoted in lofty, long-winded tones as if they had taken part in creating the most pivotal State of the Union address in our nation's history. One edit of the "history lesson" spot even had a mushroom cloud in it, believe it or not, before cooler heads prevailed, a sure sign that in this era of Kim Jong Il, these people are truly in need of a jolt from a reality stick - or maybe a Taser.

The advertising business is overrun with self-important, delusional, intermittently talented people who actually believe what they work on merits consideration in the same breath as curing cancer or solving world hunger. Chevy's historical or should I say hysterical version of the Chevy truck spot is Exhibit "A" of the kind of narrow-minded, self-aggrandizing thinking that's rampant in the ad biz today.

Of course, the people involved will say that because this campaign is being talked about by everyone - in both good and bad ways - means that they have succeeded. And to some degree, though surface-oriented and callow, they're right.

But I would also argue that the steaming pile of negativity that permeates the lead Chevy truck spot will have a lingering impact that will far outweigh any real or perceived benefits that the Chevy brain trust can piece together and lecture us about.

After all, these spots are supposed to be about promoting a new Chevy Silverado pickup that's making its debut in dealerships right now. And if the only thing that's being talked about incessantly is the lead commercial's controversial execution, instead of the truck itself, then they've all contributed to a huge "miss" in my book.

Thanks for listening, see you next Wednesday.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/19/2006 4:05:44 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch
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To: InvisibleChurch
Cougar/Mellencamp is a self satisfied leftist dolt...big mistake you suits at Chevy, I won't buy one purposely now because you dopes feature this anti-american Indiana metro-sexual.

an excerpt from johnny boy....

" ...I've always been a liberal. I grew up in the '60s. I like Jane Fonda," he says -- Mellencamp took part in the Vote for Change tour, the recent gathering of music-biz heavyweights hoping to retire George W. to Texas. The left-leaning collective of rock stars failed in its main objective, of course, primarily because so many of Mellencamp's fellow midwesterners opted for the status quo. Indiana was about 60 percent pro-Bush. Mellencamp says he was "disappointed" in the results. His new song "Walk Tall" ("The simple-minded and the uninformed can be easily led astray") says "disappointed" is an understatement."
2 posted on 10/19/2006 4:17:33 AM PDT by loveitor.. ("I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours..." Ronald Reagan)
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To: InvisibleChurch

In the first pic he looks like Mark Karr of JonBenet fame.


3 posted on 10/19/2006 4:21:38 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny. "--Aeschylus)
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To: InvisibleChurch
Richard Nixon, the most disgraced President in history

That distinction should be held by Clinton, imho.

I've seen the doom and gloom version of the ad and it sucks.

Hell, GM should have shown Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile !

4 posted on 10/19/2006 4:22:09 AM PDT by csvset (Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil & inhumane)
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To: All

I stopped listening to "johnny" ever since he went on tour to defeat Bush. I'll never forget the day he was booed at an Indianapolis Colts game in his home town.


5 posted on 10/19/2006 4:22:49 AM PDT by excalibur1701
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To: InvisibleChurch
Ironically, there's another edit in the new Chevy truck "Our Country" TV campaign that's a flat-out hit, but unless you watch "Football Night in America" on Sunday nights on NBC, you're not going to see it (I assume they're running it in conjunction with college football too). This edit, filled with images of small-town America football, as well as classic snippets of college and pro football, soars. The Mellencamp song positively comes alive, and the visuals jump out at you with stirring images on field - and off. This is the spot that should be in dominant rotation. This is the spot that aligns perfectly with Chevy trucks.

They ought to mix scenes of the Miami-FIU football fight with images of their truck.

I don't like most TV ads. I really don't like most car ads and I've long disliked Chevy ads most of all.

So Chevy trucks are what makes America great? Maybe their next ad will show Chavez, Saddam and Kim driving Ford trucks.

6 posted on 10/19/2006 4:24:35 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: InvisibleChurch

The only two presidential ads I remember are LBJ's horrible "Mushroom Cloud" ad against Goldwater and Ronald Reagan's inspirational "Morning in America" ad. You would think that even the dolts who run GM could figure out that they would sell more Chevys and good will with the latter theme...but that's why they are losing billions every year.


7 posted on 10/19/2006 4:28:50 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: InvisibleChurch

bump for later


8 posted on 10/19/2006 4:30:19 AM PDT by RayStacy
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To: InvisibleChurch

The downer ad is for leftists.


9 posted on 10/19/2006 4:46:12 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: InvisibleChurch

Chevrolet is playing both the Left and the Right. They are hoping that both sides see a part of their ad campaign that they like and will feel 'patriotic' and relate Chevy with the USA.

The truth is that GM has moved almost all their manufacturing to either Mexico or Canada. There are very few GM cars/trucks still built here in the USA.

GM is assuming the population in the USA is too stupid to really look for the truth, and are mindless CNN types that just believe what they see on TV.


10 posted on 10/19/2006 5:07:23 AM PDT by southlake_hoosier (.... One Nation, Under God.......)
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To: Right Wing Assault

I agree, but those guys aren't driving trucks. Therefore...


11 posted on 10/19/2006 5:09:03 AM PDT by battlecry
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To: csvset
Hell, GM should have shown Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile !

excellent point,but then again the old Olds...???...didn't float..and there's absolutely no truth to the rumor GM is thinking about introducing a new model with HUGE airbags for midnight drives called the "SWIMMER"

Doogle

12 posted on 10/19/2006 5:12:11 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF 69-73...."never store a threat you should have eliminated")
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To: InvisibleChurch
Convinced me I never want another chevrolet.
13 posted on 10/19/2006 5:19:40 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: InvisibleChurch
My favorite John Mellencamp moment?

When "Johnny Cougar" changed his stage name to John Cougar Mellencamp, the lead singer of Philly trash-punk band The Dead Milkmen changed his stage name from Rodney Anonymous to Rodney Anonymous Mellencamp.

And John Mellencamp threatened him with legal action.

14 posted on 10/19/2006 5:32:19 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: southlake_hoosier
The truth is that GM has moved almost all their manufacturing to either Mexico or Canada. There are very few GM cars/trucks still built here in the USA.

Wrong.

15 posted on 10/19/2006 5:33:08 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Looks more like Kristy McNichol in both photos.


16 posted on 10/19/2006 5:40:04 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
So Chevy trucks are what makes America great? Maybe their next ad will show Chavez, Saddam and Kim driving Ford trucks.

How about all of the insurgents in Iraq and Afganistan driving their Toyotas with rocket launchers on the back.

17 posted on 10/19/2006 6:02:47 AM PDT by sportutegrl (This thread is useless without pix.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
The first time I saw that commercial, I said to my wife, "Notice that nearly every shot is of either a disaster or an embarassing time in our history."

Doesn't Chevy know that Leftists drive Prius's not big ol' gas-guzzling pickup trucks and SUVs? I was quite surprized because I thought the "Like a Rock" campaign was pretty good.

18 posted on 10/19/2006 6:32:51 AM PDT by Lekker 1 (("...the world will be...eleven degrees colder by the year 2000" -- K. Watt, Earth Day, 1970)
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To: InvisibleChurch
If Chevy wanted to attract buyers, It could have built a campaign with a blood red GTO and a bevy of tall blondes wearing short skirts and stiletto heels posed provocatively around it...

Oh, well, then a Camaro or something

19 posted on 10/19/2006 6:35:28 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: wideawake
I stand corrected, after looking at GM's own numbers available on their corporate website, about slight less then 1/2 are built in the USA, the remaining over 1/2 of them are built outside the USA.
20 posted on 10/19/2006 6:39:17 AM PDT by southlake_hoosier (.... One Nation, Under God.......)
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To: Lekker 1

Worst...ad...ever...

Making me consider Japanese...or, gulp...Dodge...for my next truck...

Alienating a loyal GM/Chevy owner...


21 posted on 10/19/2006 6:42:10 AM PDT by LikeLight (RYMB)
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To: kissmyass
Johnny 'jihad' Cougar can kiss my American ass.

22 posted on 10/19/2006 6:46:39 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: excalibur1701

His hometown is Seymour, Indiana. You mean his home State.


23 posted on 10/19/2006 6:49:37 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: excalibur1701

Johnny's brain has been warped by too many cans of Bud and too many packs of Kools.


24 posted on 10/19/2006 6:50:38 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: From One - Many
During forty two years of marriage we have owned three Chevys. Every one of them had really bad problems and two of them were new! So we've been sticking with Ford.

Carolyn

26 posted on 10/19/2006 6:57:20 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: InvisibleChurch
My father and mother drove mostly GM products for 50 plus years. I have owned several GM products and a few Chevy trucks. I currently drive a Chevy truck. I was considering buying a new one within the next year or two.

Each time I see this ad, I find myself thinking more of a Dodge or a Nissan truck instead. It has had an amazing ability to sever 50 plus years of family brand loyalty.

27 posted on 10/19/2006 7:32:01 AM PDT by Ghengis (Alexander was a wuss!)
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To: InvisibleChurch

I have the best commercial on the air now. I do!
F**k John Cougar and Chevys

28 posted on 10/19/2006 7:52:37 AM PDT by Darth Republican
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To: 1rudeboy

>>His hometown is Seymour, Indiana. You mean his home State.

I stand corrected.


29 posted on 10/19/2006 8:38:28 AM PDT by excalibur1701
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To: Ghengis
Chevrolet's truck market is for hard-working, honest folks who make their own living and generally don't accept charity (farm subsidies excluded.) So Chevrolet/GM decides to put out a commercial in an election year "celebrating" America, hiring a rabid anti-American leftist with a notoriouis political bend (JCM) to front the commercial.

Gm should be firing these dolts as we speak. If I want to support John Mellencamp I will write a check to the American Communist party. I will NEVER AGAIN buy a Chevy truck. What a serious miscalculation on both Americans and those who buy trucks. Wow, this is unbelievable.

30 posted on 10/19/2006 8:51:37 AM PDT by mallardx
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To: InvisibleChurch

Now they're running a Spanish language Hispanic themed Chevy commercial during the World Series broadcast.


31 posted on 10/24/2006 6:58:41 PM PDT by F-117A (They say there is no such thing as an ex-Marine,.Murtha disproves that!!!)
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