Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2013 01:34 PM
Michigan's automotive sector isn't the only part of its long-battered economy that's looking up these days. Michigan tourism is hoping to benefit from the renewal of its effective Pure Michigan brand and marketing campaign next month.
Pure Michigan has become a darling of the private and public sectors alike. Gov. Rick Snyder even threw some more love—and dollars—its way after generating savings by whacking Michigan's film-industry tax rebates a couple of years ago. However, the state government's official branding campaign may not again mention the fact that Michigan has become a right-to-work state. After a kerfuffle over the issue earlier this year, the state tourism folks are considering leaving that bit of business-brand positioning to their colleagues in the economic-development department.
Last year, the Pure Michigan campaign, with its advertising running on a couple dozen cable-TV networks including CNN and the Travel Channel, helped bring 3.2 million out-of-staters to Michigan to enjoy sublime attractions such as the unparalleled Great Lakes coastlines and music festivals in Detroit.
"They spent $1 billion at Michigan businesses—and that's real money," George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, told brandchannel. "And the great thing is we're only starting to educate people outside the state about how wonderful Michigan is." Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 06:02 PM
If you're Tim Allen, you might be hoping that your return to television comedy in ABC's Last Man Standing continues to be well-received. Because there are more hints that your long-standing and respected gig as the mellifluous voiceover for Chevrolet's "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign has reached its end.
Chevy plans to break the first TV spots under its new "Find New Roads
" tagline as early as Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, or even before. And while GM has stuck with its pledge made last spring not to place commercials during the actual Big Game itself, Chevrolet executives clearly are eager to begin to execute against the new brand positioning that is replacing the less-than-effective "Chevy Runs Deep."
"That hasn't been determined yet," Chris Perry, Chevy's CMO, told brandchannel at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company said upon unveiling the new slogan recently that creative executions would begin occurring during the first quarter, and "Find New Roads" already is appearing in Chevrolet's exhibit at the Detroit show as well as on the web site for its new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that was unveiled several days ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 03:43 PM
As rumored late last year, GM is dropping Chevrolet's lackluster "Chevy Runs Deep" slogan and replacing it with a tagline and positioning that the brand's management team believes is more forward-looking and will be more effective: "Find New Roads."
In dumping the introspective "Chevy Runs Deep" tagline — introduced in 2010 with narration by dulcet brand voice Tim Allen, the comedic actor who's also a Michigan native — and adopting a more outward-looking brand positioning, the GM marketing brain trust is taking a number of steps simultaneously.
They're aiming for a new external positioning that can serve more global purposes as "the touchstone for the brand as it devleops new products and technologies for sale in more than 140 markets," according to a GM statement.
Notably, Chevrolet also is adopting "Find New Roads" as an internal rallying cry, an actionable objective for its engineers, marketers and other staffers around the world both for purposes of internal branding and employee engagement in the mission of the brand.
"What we need to do is bring this to life, and it needs to become the thrust of the brand," Alan Batey, GM's interim CMO and its vice president of U.S. sales, service and global marketing, told brandchannel. "That's why the internal alignment is the starting point." External applications of "Find New Roads" will begin globally later in the first quarter, he said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2012 12:59 PM
Chevrolet has been coming up with one spiffy new car model after another. Its Cruze, Sonic and now Spark small cars have been big hits; its Equinox crossover continues to sell well; the Volt plug-in now is reaching nearly 3,000 sales a month; and the Chevy Silverado continues to sell strong.
Yet for October, GM's monthly sales tally showed that Chevrolet had the lowest sales uptick of any of the four GM brands, just 2.7 percent, while Chevy's overall sales rose by 4.7 percent over a year earlier. For the entire year to date, Chevy did outperform each of its siblling brands.
But the question remains: Is there some reason Chevy isn't doing better as a brand amid ever-rising gas prices that favor its largely fuel-economic fleet?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 1, 2012 04:01 PM
Fall is usually a good time to sell and buy a pickup truck, and this season is no exception: Today, Ford announced an 8-percent increase in October sales of its F-Series pickup trucks over a year ago; Chevrolet Silverado, up 6 percent; GMC Sierra, up 9 percent; Chrysler's Dodge Ram, up 17 percent; and Toyota Tundra and Tacoma, each up at least 20 percent.
The sales numbers for those truck brands and for the segment as a whole were better than for each nameplate's parent brand overall. So pickups have assumed an important position in driving the overall continuation of the U.S. auto-industry recovery. October auto sales increased by about 7 to 8 percent over October 2011 sales to notch the best October in five years.
But another factor was at work besides seasonality and a still-strengthening industry: The American housing industry seems to have entered a recovery phase, and there's no vehicle segment that benefits more from such a phenomenon than pick-up truck sales, as construction contractors and others begin to express more demand. And as Tim Allen says in the latest Chevy Silverado commercial, at top, "You build a reputation by not breaking down."Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2012 03:02 PM
The timing would be great for Chevrolet to be pushing a hot new car. GM sales were up in August, renewing hope for a continuation of the company's recent momentum. And the Chevy Volt continues to get shellacked for high development and manufaturing costs, low sales, and desperate incentives to sell the units that do move — a critique the automaker refutes.
But according to the automotive cognescenti, the Chevy Malibu Eco just isn't up to the challenge of delivering another winning product for GM in a sequence to follow the Chevy Cruze and Sonic models, which are smaller. (Chevy is also launching a new, tiny Spark nameplate this fall.) Eco's raison d'etre appears to be a "mild hybrid" drivetrain that includes an electric motor to give mileage a boost — but which, unfortunately, doesn't deliver much by way of fuel efficiency, compared with competitors, and is accompanied by a smaller wheelbase and cramped rear seats.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2012 06:04 PM
From his first public remarks since taking over as interim CMO of General Motors, it's clear that Alan Batey isn't planning any abrupt changes in policies, directions or programs as he steers the company's marketing efforts at least for the short term. Only recently promoted from Chevrolet sales vice president to vice president of U.S. sales and service, Batey was just tapped again — this time to succeed Joel Ewanick, the controversial global CMO who unexpectedly parted ways with GM on Sunday.
"There is no change," Batey told reporters and analysts during the company's July sales call. "We've always been one thing here, and we have no change in direction or priorities. Our focus is on executing. There is a lot going on right now; a lot of new products. We'll have no disruption and no change. It's all about execution."
From Batey's remarks, it's easy to infer that the main problem his bosses had with Ewanick was with Ewanick, not necessarily with his work. And GM did say that his dismissal had to do with execution of Chevy's sponsorship agreement with the Manchester United soccer franchise, not with the fact of his having struck a deal with Manchester. Sure enough, Batey's first duty in his new role on Monday was to announce the signing of the Man U deal after terms were altered.
But more (likely) is going on than it appears.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2012 12:13 PM
Suddenly, Joel Ewanick is done knocking over all of the furniture in General Motors' marketing world — because he's gone. The company's strong-headed global CMO proved to be only a shooting star after GM ousted Ewanick (technically, he resigned, as GM tersely stated) over the weekend following a drama-filled two-year stint.
GM surprised Detroit, Madison Avenue and Wall Street by announcing on Sunday that Ewanick had "failed to meet expectations the company has for its employees" and elected to resign. Outlets including Ad Age and the Wall Street Journal reported that the trigger for Ewanick's sacking was that he failed to properly vet the financial details of Chevy's five-year deal with the iconic Manchester United soccer franchise, which was announced six weeks ago in a high-profile partnership that encompassed China, an international commitment to football and, somehow, Sting.
Today, Man United and Chevy detailed the jersey branding part of the deal, with GM's North American VP Alan Batey quoted instead of Ewanick. Ewanick has shed little additional light on what led to his abrupt exit, although he did tweet that it "has been a privilege & honor to work with the GM Team," and then tweeted the link to the Wall Street Journal report on his exit.Continue reading...