How do you breathe new life into a 103-year-old brand? In 2014, Chevrolet had just launched a new lineup of its strongest, most competitive and most awarded vehicles ever. The problem was, after the national economic downturn of 2008, General Motors had retired a number of brands that targeted a young audience and consumers had defected to foreign marks. We needed to make the brand relevant to this target.
Chevrolet needed an image makeover. The new face of America had to see itself in the brand and in the vehicles. Find New Roads was introduced as Chevrolet’s new direction toward ingenuity and possibilities. The next year, we were challenged to inject new meaning into Find New Roads, in a very human, authentic way. We wanted to reinvigorate the brand, and we needed to build trust and relevancy with a new audience.
This campaign never started with a specific “target audience.” We didn’t target “yoga moms” or “cool dads.” We wanted our work to resonate with people who value what the brand values: hard work, self-reliance, community, family and dependability. These values haven’t changed. The people who hold these values close may just look a little different and love, and live a little differently than before.
To showcase this message to the world, we needed a large stage. The Sochi Winter Olympics were taking place in the first quarter of 2014, and the Opening Ceremony offered the perfect opportunity to celebrate this unified global perspective to the world . “The New Us” campaign kicked off with a 60-second spot that featured our core values in a contemporary light. We explored modern ideas of love, success and family. Love hasn’t changed, but now it may be expressed through a text, or a marriage proposal via video. Family values haven’t changed, but the way we define a family has. Chevrolet reinforced its commitment to technology and innovation in a real way, by pulling real, of-the-moment footage from the social space into the spot and extended it across the digital space. We invited people to show us what #TheNew meant to them, and they did. We saw something strikingly similar between Chevrolet and the people we wanted to reach. Just like them, we were finding new ways to navigate this changing, challenging world. Just like them, we hold onto values fundamentally found in our DNA. And just like them, we share an optimism about the future that flourishes no matter what the present may look like. In these glimpses of everyday life, we successfully demonstrated how Chevrolet could be relevant without abandoning the values that make us who we are.
New America saw itself in Chevrolet. Not only creating awareness of the brand, the “New Us” campaign created a wave of brand momentum in comments and conversation in the press and in the social space. Our videos garnered 2 million views on YouTube. We started a conversation between the brand and a whole new audience who saw themselves in the advertising—and saw themselves driving a new Chevy. We averaged 21.4 million viewers during primetime coverage (source: DFA 2014), and drove user engagement with 111,000 clicks and over 15,000 loads of the #TheNew culture page (source: DFA 2014). Through the #TheNew, we received 14,231,801 Twitter impressions, 15,512,519 Facebook impressions, 609,063 engagements on Twitter and 218,181 engagements on Facebook (source: DFA, 2014). We also drove consideration for Chevy models, with a 38% lift in qualified leads. Because the Chevrolet work included several same-sex couples and their families, it was seen as a response to Russia’s lack of support for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender LGBT community during the games. Although not a direct response to Russia’s lack of support, it was intended to represent the “new” Chevrolet, the campaign garnered rapid social and editorial coverage during and after the Olympic Games. In the end, the new Chevrolet made big news, and a big impression.