| DETROIT, July 2
DETROIT, July 2 Chevrolet's marketing campaign
for its redesigned Silverado pickup truck is the U.S.
automaker's latest attempt to appeal to American patriotism, in
a vehicle segment where its offering has been the oldest on the
General Motors Co's ad campaign, dubbed "Strong,"
will launch on Thursday in Texas - the largest pickup market in
the country - and nationally during Major League Baseball's
All-Star game on July 16 and the home run derby the day before.
Using a song by Grammy-nominated singer Will Hoge, the
company is linking its trucks to such values as independence and
commitment to family. The campaign calls to mind the "Like a
Rock" ads that included music by American rock star Bob Seger
that Chevy used to sell the Silverado from the early 1990s to
"We have a great opportunity now with this new truck," Chris
Perry, vice president of Chevy marketing in the United States,
told reporters. "We've been competing with the oldest truck in
the market place."
The 2014 Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups, last
redesigned in 2006, are the most important vehicle introductions
for the Detroit automaker since its bankruptcy and $450 billion
U.S. taxpayer-funded bailout in 2009.
While declining to reveal how much GM is spending on the
marketing for the new Silverado's launch, Perry called it the
biggest for GM in at least five or six years and more than the
company spent when it last redesigned the truck. Last year, GM
spent almost $351 million to market the Silverado in the U.S.
market, up 29 percent from 2011, according to Kantar Media, a
unit of ad giant WPP Plc.
The initial ad is backed by song "Strong" - performed by
Hoge - which includes images of actual Silverado owners using
their trucks on farms, lumber yards and other work sites, as
well as at family events like a son's baseball game. "Ain't
nuthin' gonna knock him off the road he's rollin' on," Hoge
sings of the truck's owners, many shown with craggy, weathered
Perry said the initial spot, shot by Academy award-winning
cinematographer Robert Richardson, is meant to hit emotional
themes that GM and its rivals at Ford Motor Co and
Chrysler Group LLC have not in recent years. He said GM
sees an opportunity to take back the "soulfulness" of the pickup
With the tagline, "Strong for all the roads ahead," it also
is meant to play off Chevy's new global ad tagline, "Find New
Roads," he said. That global campaign, launched in January, is
GM's first attempt at a global message for the
The new Silverado campaign will start with the emotional
message, but also include several spots that emphasize the
truck's features, including fuel efficiency and towing capacity,
Perry said. That will make Chevy dealers happy.
"What their plan is and what mine would be is saying they're
absolutely going to focus on the superiority of this drive
train," said Don Kerstetter, owner of Classic Chevrolet Sugar
Land outside Houston. Texas accounts for one of every six trucks
sold in the United States.
The initial spot, which will also debut as a digital
download and music video, was produced by Chevy's global ad
agency Interpublic Group's Commonwealth, while Leo
Burnett of Publicis handled all the other marketing,
Perry said. The campaign will include social media and events
where customers can see and touch the new truck, including
NASCAR races, baseball games, concerts and gun shows.
The Silverado and Sierra are key to GM's ongoing battle with
Ford, whose F-150 truck is the auto industry's top-selling
vehicle. GM's rollout will continue through this year and into
next as it introduces different models of the big trucks and
companion full-size SUVs.
GM's current big trucks and related SUVs, which generate more
than $12,000 per vehicle in profit, account for about 60 percent
of the company's global profit, according to analysts. Citi has
estimated the new models could bring the automaker more than $1
billion in additional operating earnings in 2013 and 2014.
(Additional reporting by Joseph Lichterman in Detroit; Editing
by Steve Orlofsky)