Chevrolet Gets 'Strong' For New Silverado

General Motors' Chevrolet unit is launching a marketing campaign, "Strong," via dedicated global AOR Commonweath for the new Silverado pickup truck. The campaign, which launches July 4 in the Lone Star State, kicks off with a 60-second anthem spot featuring an eponymous and original song by Grammy-nominated recording artist Will Hope. The ad features real people with their trucks. The campaign moves nationwide on the coattails of the MBL All-Star Game on July 16 and the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby. 

Tim Mahoney, global CMO for Chevrolet, tells Marketing Daily that Texas is job one for the campaign because Chevrolet has Silverado inventory in showrooms there already, not to mention the fact that Texas is state number one for pickups. "One in six people owns a pickup truck in Texas," he notes. "Our biggest truck dealers are in Texas; they get trucks first." The company actually started ride-and-drives for the truck last month in the state. 

Nationally, Silverado marketing will also include customer activities at NASCAR races, music venues and sporting events, plus a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council. The effort resides under Chevrolet's "Find New Roads" global mantra: "Strong for All the Roads Ahead." 

The launch spot focuses on the customer, and is shot around the lives they lead, notes Mahoney. "Fundamentally, 90% of talent are real Silverado owners. We didn't bring a lot of Hollywood types in. I think what we're trying to do is emotionalize a category that has gotten pretty rational," he says. "The commercial celebrates the strength of character of the driver as well as the strength of character of the Silverado. It's as much a brand campaign as a Silverado campaign." There will be cuts for other platforms such as in-cinema and an edit for directed to Hispanic consumers. As the campaign unfolds, feature-specific spots will focus on one owner.  

The ad was shot and produced in Texas, and features such locales as Big Bend National Park, Hill Country and San Antonio, per Mahoney, who became head of marketing this year after moving to GM from Volkswagen of America -- and who has also held marketing positions at Porsche and Subaru. 

The effort also includes a 3:30 music video featuring Hope performing the song "Strong," which he penned for the  campaign. The video, shot at the famed Gruene Music Hall in Braunfels, Texas, features neither the Silverado nor the Chevrolet brand, and was shot while he was recording a new album, which will include the song. It will run on YouTube initially, but will also be available on iTunes and will run concurrently with the campaign.

"We put out a brief by Commonwealth's chief creative officer to develop a song for the campaign. There were several people who submitted, and we talked about going with someone really famous, but we wanted to go with someone authentic." He says there are different versions -- less country, more uptempo, for example -- to reach different audiences. Chevrolet has talked about using him in a performance, per Mahoney. The company did something similar with the Launch of Sonic, which featured the band “OK Go” doing an original song, "Fun."

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