Villing & Company

Camaro Advertising: Clever...And Tempting

A relatively sedate looking middle aged man has a dream of driving so vivid that his dog feels the wind on his ears.  An elderly couple head out for a date hand in hand and are suddenly teenagers out for a Friday night drive.  What's the inspiration for these scenarios?  The 2012 Camaro.  Besides being clever and entertaining, these Camaro commercials are great executions of image advertising.  It's not about features, gas mileage, industry awards or cost.  It's simply about the Camaro driving experience.  What you're missing out on if you don't have one.  And it's not a subtle suggestion; it's exaggerated to make a point.  Of course a vehicle can't take 50 years off your age.  But the idea that you could feel young (or cool) again is a well-aimed message.

This campaign is an intelligent complement to the youth focused publicity that the Camaro began receiving when it was reintroduced in the 2007 Transformers movie.  The Camaro leapt back into the spotlight as a concept car and then as a reality with the production of the 2010 model year after almost a decade out of the market.  As one of the stars of the Transformers franchise, the Camaro grabbed the attention of a new generation of young drivers or soon-to-be drivers (like the one in my household). A special edition 2012 model leverages the Camaro's appearance in the third installment of the movie series, which hit theaters at the end of June.

I'm impressed with Chevy's dual approach and ability to make their messaging ring true to both ends of the buyer spectrum – young Transformers fans and mature muscle car enthusiasts.  A mature buyer probably isn't overly impressed with the fantasy storyline of a car that turns into a world-saving robot on demand.  However, giving him, or her, an avenue to youth and excitement is certainly a better way to drive these consumers, who are more likely to be able to hit the price point of a loaded model, into the showroom.  Based on the number of Camaros I see on the road, Chevy's marketing certainly seems to be working.  Sales figures agree with this anecdotal assessment.  According to Autoweek, Camaro sales through April were up almost 19% over a year ago and Bloomberg reports that Camaros outsold Mustangs by 33% through May.

Employing a marketing strategy that speaks to multiple audience segments is definitely not uncommon.  Chevy's handling of the Camaro is just the most visible and effective example I've seen in a while.  There's no red Camaro sitting in my garage right now.  But if my teenager launches a full court press over the next year or two, I'll have to admit that Chevy's advertising has made the idea seem mighty appealing - to both of us.

Filed Under: advertising

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