The Chevrolet campaign that creams my corn

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

16 January 2017

Why? Because it’s all a big lie.

The current ad campaign that drives me the battiest is the Chevrolet series, touting the awards they’ve all won. Especially those endowed by JD Power.

The smug host unveils the award winners. A group of “real people, not actors” coos at the many Chevrolet cars and trucks that have been so honored by JD Power.

“This is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, which hoodwinked families into buying appliances without knowing that the manufacturer paid for that seal of approval.”

It’s all a goddamn crock.

This might be a little inside baseball, but the awards mean nothing. The dirty little secret about JD Power is that those its assessing are paying JD Power. So, OF COURSE, you’ll get a high rating. This is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, which hoodwinked families into buying appliances without knowing that the manufacturer paid for that seal of approval.

Also, the campaign takes a format of a focus group, of sorts. They may be “real people.” But they are obviously fawning over what’s presented in front of them like it’s some sort of Vegas carnival act.

(Focus groups reek of false research. They are not quantitative, not projectable to a larger sample and often controlled by either a moderator or a strong personality among the group. They mean nothing.)

Does the Chevrolet campaign actually help?

The important question is whether this Chevrolet campaign actually creates preference, no matter my personal reservations about it. Market share for Chevrolet, owned by General Motors, has increased a bit. But the entire market has seen a recent bump due, mostly, to low gas prices.

For Chevy, that market-wide bump, a large increase in discounting and, possibly, awareness of this campaign is producing the increase.

Chevrolet has an opportunity, however, to tie whatever value the award-winning campaign owns to what being a Chevy owner means. Any increase in sales is short-lived, otherwise.

Because viewers will catch on that a JD Power award means jack shit.

See more posts in the following related categories: Advertising Automotive Chevrolet focus groups JD Power

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