automotive

GM Ends Stormy Tenure of CMO Ewanick in Wake of Manchester United Deal

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...

automotive

Hamsterbranding: Kia and Chevy Know How to Score With Millennials

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2012 10:58 AM

Many car brands may be scrambling and scratching their heads to figure out how to appeal to the elusive and automotively nonchalant Millennial generation, but at least two brands seem to be closer than some of the others.

Kia is bringing back the popular hamster characters for its Soul minicar on the basis of how well the campaign has played with Generation Y. And Chevrolet already is seeing an encouraging interest by twenty-something consumers in its new little Spark model, which is just hitting showrooms at prices as low as below $13,000.Continue reading...

automotive

Ford Can't Escape 2nd Recall in Two Weeks

Posted by Dale Buss on July 19, 2012 02:48 PM

Recall all that pre-launch marketing that Ford so carefullly laid for the 2013 Escape? The branded entertainment experiment that was the Escape Routes prime-time TV series on NBC; the Spanish-language TV commercial during the NBA Finals featuring the Miami Heat; and, in its latest promotional stunt, measuring the model's interior in ping-pong balls (56,778, in case you were wondering).

Well, Ford may need all of the interest and goodwill generated by those marketing gambits, and a lot more, to get past the fact that the automaker just announced the second recall in as many weeks for the crucial new version of its venerable SUV. It also raises the issue that when it comes to brand recalls, customers do recall recalls, as Toyota found out the hard way.Continue reading...

automotive

Chevrolet Ready to Roll Out 60th Anniversary Corvette

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 19, 2012 11:31 AM

Chevrolet's Corvette is "roaring into its 60th year," having just turned 59. Now the iconic GM-owned car brand is getting ready to release its 60th anniversary limited-edition Corvette: the 427. Described as the most powerful Corvette convertible ever built, the first one sold at auction for $600,000 in January. Take a closer look at the 427 below.Continue reading...

automotive

Chevy Volt Charges Past Nissan Leaf in America's Green-Car Derby

Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2012 12:52 PM

Pulling away at a "go" light, plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt have a big advantage over all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf — because they have a gasoline engine on board that can provide the required performance punch.

That's sort of what is happening in sales of Volt versus Leaf as well. While the Chevrolet sold nearly 1,700 vehicles in June and, at 8,800, has more than tripled the number it sold last year, Nissan could only report sales of 535 Leafs in the U.S. last month. For the year to date, Leaf sold only about 3,400 units, down 19 percent from last year.

A Nissan spokeswoman told the Detroit News that the main reason for the decline in Leaf sales is that Nissan has been moving away from a "web-driven, build-to-order system that was designed to handle initial sales to more of a traditional dealer-based model."

As for Volt, "We're still trying to manage the production to demand," Chris Perry, Chevrolet's CMO, told brandchannel. "We still haven't totally filled the inventory needs growing in California and some other markets. We're still not sure how high is high with this product."Continue reading...

automotive

Chevy Demonstrates Confidence in Brand With Money-Back Guarantee

Posted by Dale Buss on July 12, 2012 01:02 PM

What are the two worst sensations associated with the car-buying experience? High on the list would be buyers feeling that they got fleeced on the price of the vehicle. Another big problem is customer remorse that typically can set in about two weeks after they've made one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

Well, Chevrolet aims to vanquish both of those problems for its customers — at least on a partial basis, and at least for a few weeks — with the launch of its two-pronged "Chevy Confidence" program in the U.S. this week, which runs through September 4, at Chevy dealers and chevyconfidence.com.

Under "Love It or Return It," Chevy is offering a vehicle-return program on every new 2012 or 2013 model-year purchase. Customers can return vehicles bought during the progam, with less than 4,000 miles driven and no physical damage, 30 to 60 days from the purchase date. And Chevy's "Total Confidence Pricing" offers no-haggle pricing on all 2012 model-year Chevrolets in addition to specific vehicle incentives.

"From our research, we know that customers appreciate the opportunity to come in and have a risk-free buying process," Chris Perry, Chevrolet global vice president of marketing, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

automotive

Chrysler Needs Dodge Dart To Be a Game-Changer Beyond All-Star Game Debut

Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2012 03:09 PM

When Chrysler airs the first TV commercial for the 2013 Dodge Dart tonight during the All-Star Game, a lot more is at stake than may be readily apparent.

The spot opens with the line, "'How to change cars forever," features cameos by Tom Brady and other athletes, runs for an unconventional 90 seconds, and positions Dart as a game-changer. It really needs to be that for Chrysler, for a number of reasons.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

MLB All-Star Game Brings Out the Sponsors

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 6, 2012 10:59 AM

After this weekend, a whole slew of Major League Baseball’s biggest names will be heading to Kansas City for next week’s All-Star Game. And when you’ve got a bunch of big names together, marketers can’t be far behind.

While the July 10th game itself will have plenty of Your Brand Here Moments for the FOX cameras, some advertisers aren’t waiting for Tuesday’s game to attach their name to the 2012 event.

State Farm is sponsoring the HomeRun Derby on July 9th on ESPN. Firestone sponsored the final fan Twitter vote that will get the last few players onto the team. All-Star voting is a bit more of a popularity contest than anything else and the final hours of fan support can be frenetic. What better time for a marketer to get its name in front of a massive amount of eyeballs?

Chevrolet, which is not coincidentally the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, is also getting itself out into the public eye early by bringing a fleet of its 2013 cars, trucks, and crossovers out to K.C. to showcase to baseball fans (and whoever else wants to take a gander).

"We're looking forward to introducing our family of Chevrolet vehicles to current and new customers in Kansas City, and celebrating our shared love of baseball," stated Phil Caruso, Chevrolet national promotions manager. "We will have product displays, ride and drives and other activities around Kansas City to enhance the fan and customer experience."

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