Chevy Highlights Earth-Friendliness In New Campaign

Chevrolet is trying to win some cachet for its fuel-sippers and earth-friendly engine technology with its first umbrella campaign pitching the GM brand as more than a maker of trucks, SUVs, V8s and run-of-the-mill cars.

The division, which last year began a series of campaigns focused on fuel economy and its E85-capable vehicles, is launching the new campaign, integrated with MSN properties and Chevy's sponsorship of the online coverage of Saturday's Live Earth global concert series, which will be videocast on (See related story in today's Marketing Daily.)

The effort kicks off on MSN's platform, where Chevy is the exclusive automotive digital sponsor of the MSN online global broadcast of Live Earth. Chevy is sponsoring "green" content throughout MSN and will be integrated throughout the network with branding, banner ads and video.

The campaign, via Campbell-Ewald, with the theme line "Do more. Use Less," promotes Chevy's lineup of eight under-30-mpg cars and its FlexFuel E85-capable vehicles, along with technologies like hydrogen fuel-cell and electric vehicles.



Chevy this year is rolling-out a fleet of 100 hydrogen fuel cell-powered Equinox crossovers, which will be given to consumers for a time, to drive - as part of a program called "Project Driveway" -- and Chevrolet is also showing its Volt electric-car concept at auto shows.

An integrated campaign, including TV ads later this year, precede the launch in the fourth quarter of a hybrid version of the Malibu sedan and Tahoe SUV. The ads discuss what Chevrolet is doing toward achieving better fuel economy and decreasing U.S. dependence on oil by showcasing advanced technologies in its vehicles.

The campaign will comprise an assortment of web ads across MSN's platforms, including Windows Live Spaces, Messenger and Hotmail. There will also be newspaper, magazine, out-of-home and online advertising.

Through year-end Chevy will run a print campaign, including a 16-page insert in a range of progressive publications plus a six-page insert in auto buff books and full-page newspaper ads in USA Today and various local-market papers. A radio campaign on network radio and XM Satellite Radio supports, as well.

Terry Rhadigan, a Chevrolet spokesperson, says the effort is both a concession to Toyota's success with its Prius car, which has become the de facto poster-car for environmental cognizance, and an effort to educate consumers about the breadth of Chevrolet's car portfolio.

He says the target -- those likely to tune in via to watch Live Earth -- are 18-to-34-year-olds.

"Research we have done, and others have done, shows Chevrolet has an image ... that is primarily that of a good truck company, of a company that makes Silverado and Tahoe," says Rhadigan. "We often talk about the number of garages that have a Silverado and Tahoe and next to it an import passenger car. ... People aren't considering us because they think of us as a truck company. [They] don't consider us for fuel economy."

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