Chevrolet wants amateur filmmakers around the world to get their kicks on Route 66 -- but in a Chevrolet. The effort is a contest with MoFilm as middleman, the winner of which gets his or her 30-second spot in the forthcoming Super Bowl XLVI, via Chevrolet's ad buy.
Chevrolet has a long-standing partnership with London-based MoFilm, a privately funded company that serves as a clearinghouse linking filmmakers to brands and distributing content globally. But while the automaker has done regional programs with the film instigator in the U.S., India and Europe, this will be the first global effort with MoFilm.
MoFilm is promoting the campaign at MoFilm.com, which hosts a video featuring "Titanic" and "Avatar" producer Jon Landau, shown squiring a 1950s-era convertible Chevrolet down the famous highway. He says, "My films might be more ambitious than yours, but we are both filmmakers. So, no matter where you are in the world ... go out there and film the most inspiring sights of the road. Upload what you've got ... don't just sit there, get out and film." Participants have to write a script for an iconic 30-second film, "Which captures the unique spirit of the original Route 66 and Chevrolet."
The contest brief says scripts should be an epic road trip story or adventure. "We will provide feedback on all scripts which will give you a jump-start should you decide to produce a video in Round Two," says the site. MoFilm will put a new brief on the site in early September on parameters around the actual 30-second spot. The top five spots will get cash prizes up to $5,000, and two finalists get $25,000 and the winner gets the Super Bowl.
Chevrolet's advertising director Kevin Mayer said the most recent effort, around "Chevy Runs Deep" brought in 5,000 dialogues around the brief, and garnered 120 films, ten of which Chevrolet is using. Two of them are running on air and two in cinemas.
Mayer says the automaker, for its part, promoted the contest at Cannes this week. "We pushed out a brief to the film community. The idea, ultimately, is to try to get filmmakers to take on the idea of what Route 66 represents around the world -- to express the excitement of the road trip through storytelling and interaction of people in the films. But it's really less about Route 66 and more about people discovering life and how Chevrolet helps them do it."
Chevrolet ran one of the ads from the last MoFilm venture, called "Salute" during military appreciation month. The film shows a little boy whose older brother is showing him to salute correctly. Then the dad shows up in a Chevy Equinox, in military fatigues, comes home from war. Another is of a sleeping guy who thinks he's driving his sports car, with his dog at his side. Mayer says that ad is in cinemas, as is another winner from the "Chevy Runs Deep" contest in which an elderly guy picks up an elderly woman for a date, but they transmogrify into younger versions of themselves when they get into the guy's candy-apple red Camaro.
"What we love about these films is that they are really about consumer interpretation, and it gets right to the spirit of the brand," says Mayer, who adds that the recent campaign with MoFilm mostly involved U.S. filmmakers, "But this is really a global effort, and we are excited how this will be interpreted by filmmakers in places like China and Russia. The fact is, the more we look at this brand globally, we see a lot of the same foundations; our customers have a lot more in common than you might think."