Chevy Refuels Impala With $50 Mil.

Consumers Asked to “Go for a Drive’ as Sedan Stages a Comeback
DETROIT-Chevrolet kicked off a $50 million relaunch of its Chevy Impala, out of production since 1996, with TV spots from Campbell-Ewald Advertising that broke over the weekend during the telecast of the Indianapolis 500.
Two 30-second TV spots from the Warren, Mich., agency were originally scheduled to break June 1, but the automaker decided to bump the debut to May 30 for Indy. The ads feature the tagline “Let’s go for a drive,” and suggest the sedan is “designed, engineered and built to be the most carefree car on the road.”
A four-page pop-up section in USA Today’s USA Weekend Sunday magazine appeared May 30, and multipage ads break in newsweeklies this week. A regional direct mail campaign is planned for later this year.
Chevy has also partnered with McDonald’s to feature the Impala as a prize in the latter’s Monopoly promotion, and sources said the sedan will be featured in the fast-food chain’s Tarzan promotion, beginning June 18.
The TV spots use a contemporary rendition of the “See the USA in Your Chevrolet” tune introduced in Chevy brand ads this spring. The spots are very “experiential” and “take you to a place in which driving is pleasurable again,” said Bill Ludwig, CEA vice chairman and chief creative officer.
One spot, “Hair in the Wind,” focuses on a relaxed woman gazing out a window while a voice asks, “When was the last time you drove, just for the fun of it? Why doesn’t somebody bring that back?” The camera pans to shots of the Impala on the road, and viewers learn the woman is a passenger.
“The whole idea … is an invitation to go for a drive,” Ludwig said. “When you think about it, nobody ever says that anymore. There are other car companies out there talking about the driving experience, but nobody just goes out and goes for a cruise. It’s much more either hectic or athletic, but it isn’t pleasure.”
“[The Impala] is for consumers who say, “I want a car that will help me get all my stuff done, but I still want a car that’s fun to drive,'” Hughes said.
Sluggish sales and production issues led Chevy to stop production of the Impala after the ’96 model year. The company is resurrecting the nameplate with a new design, smaller engine and front-wheel drive because of research showing baby boomers still have positive feelings and fond memories of the car.