You know you want a truck. Really, you do

The launch of the 2015 Colorado meant bringing to market a game-changing truck for Chevrolet. To say it was special would be an understatement, and we needed to grab the attention of nontraditional Chevy truck customers. So we decided to focus on what really made driving a truck different from driving other vehicles. The long-form film medium gave us the opportunity to do just that. The films didn’t feel like advertising, which is a big part of why they were so popular.

The Midsize Pickup segment in the U.S. has been in steady decline for many years, due in large part to the manufacturers’ lack of investment in new products. The all-new Colorado would be different: a modern, technologically up-to-date design with plenty of best-in-class attributes that could run with the big dogs but could still offer great gas mileage and be more versatile than a full-size truck. We needed to connect with a new truck-buying audience living an active lifestyle instead of someone needing a truck for work. Someone a little more adventurous and fun-loving, with a bit more of a “carpe-diem” attitude. Our target: a young 25 – 35 year-old, optimistic, multifaceted, forward-looking buyer, likely to live in an urban or near-urban environment. Active and adventurous, but still responsible.

We hypothesized that there is “something” about trucks. That cool, laid-back, gets-things-done attitude, natural truck “swagger” and the appeal that seems hard-wired to our DNA. So we conducted and filmed unique, entertaining focus groups to show just how real that “something” is, and produced a three-part film series showcasing the results. Not only were the responses from our real-life participants funny and compelling, they struck a chord with both digital and broadcast audiences. The first film, titled “Focus Group,” explores what makes a “truck guy” cooler than a “car guy.” We talked to a broad variety of people: kids, adults, young single women, guys with beards. We showed them two pictures of the same man in the same location, with only one difference: the vehicle behind him. Then we asked a series of questions. And the answers proved our hypothesis: Truck guys were 85% more handsome, 76% more resourceful and 100% more likely to have a badass pet.

For the second film, “Truck Up Your Profile,” we found an interesting guy, Kyle, on a popular dating site, who wasn’t having much success getting the ladies’ attention online. We invited him to a photo shoot, “trucked up” his profile and monitored his activity.  His rating went from 3 to 97 — an increase of over 3,000 percent! For the third film, “Truck Guy Deodorant,” we created a “Truck Guy” deodorant, took over a grocery store, hid cameras, and put our product on the shelves. The results were mind-blowing! Even though not a single dollar had been spent on marketing this cool new deodorant, consumers were still drawn to the appeal of the Truck Guy.

The campaign has been a resounding success and has brought new consumers to the Chevy brand.  Since they launched, the films have been viewed nearly 3.4 million times on YouTube. In addition, the Colorado page was the most visited page on Chevy.com and Colorado was the number one vehicle for research and shopping in January 2015. Colorado consideration increased 17% since the films were launched. All of this buzz has translated into quantifiable success. Colorado sales have outperformed expectations. Since launch, Chevrolet has been running about 130% of program and building adequate field stock has been difficult because of the speed at which the vehicles have been moving off dealer lots (about twice the normal rate). Consensus consistently far exceeds estimated shipments (in April, dealers requested 22,000 vehicles, estimated shipments were 1,709). In fact, 20% of sales are sold orders, with customers specifying their vehicles and waiting six weeks for delivery, as opposed to buying off the dealer lot (due to sold out inventory). Colorado has also quickly become the second-best seller in the segment and now commands a 24% segment share. 

More people see themselves in a Chevrolet Colorado and they’ve decided to make it a reality. Over 50% of customers are new to Chevrolet, and over 40% are new to General Motors. It’s the fastest turning truck in the industry at 16 days. This is also the first vehicle with a dedicated Hispanic launch target, and Hispanic share grew share by three (3) points. Los Angeles is the largest retail market for Colorado so far, making up 4.8% of sales and seeing share increase by 12 points over 2012 Calendar Year (CY). We asked a simple question: You know you want a truck? And the answer is a resounding “YES.”