Deutsch/LA Leads Team Chevy Cheers

LOS ANGELES A year after it bowed out of the Mitsubishi review as the incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA is back on the road with Chevrolet.

The Marina del Rey, Calif., agency’s first television work for the brand since winning the estimated $90 million business last November broke Sunday during Nascar’s Daytona 500 race on NBC.

Rebranding Chevy drivers as Team Chevy, one 30-second spot shows racers eloquently toasting one another in a restaurant before dumping champagne on themselves, like they do at Nascar victory celebrations.

In another ad, an office manager, presumably at Chevrolet, searches in vain for more trophy shelf space, finally considering the men’s room before discounting the idea. In a spot that breaks later in the Nascar season, driver Jeff Gordon converses during a pit stop with another driver he doesn’t recognize until he sees him in a rear-view mirror.

The tag for the spots emphasizes Chevy dominance: “Team Chevy, winner of 25 of the last 34 manufacturers’ Nascar championships.” A print campaign, mostly for newspapers, runs throughout the Nascar season.

“Not only are we really excited about working with Chevy and doing an original take on their brand for them, but it is an exciting time for Deutsch/LA to be back in the car business,” said senior vice president and associate creative director Mike Bryce, who worked with svp, associate creative director Eric Springer under chief creative officer Eric Hirshberg. “We definitely feel the momentum coming back.”

Bryce said the Team Chevy repositioning was the result of discovering the racing legacy and legends driving for the brand. “We didn’t feel they were taking ownership of that enough. We suggested Team Chevy to speak to the fans beyond showing racing footage,” he said.

“We’re excited about the new campaign for motorsport from Deutsch,” said Megan Stooke, director of advertising and sales promotion for Chevrolet, Detroit. “The appointment of the agency is intended to focus our resources during a big time for Chevy.”

Added Stooke: “Working with another IPG agency brings synergy, allowing us to get a real focus on motorsport and Major League Baseball and allows [IPG’s] Campbell-Ewald to focus on the truck launches. It’s complementary.”

Hirshberg said, “For all of us to be back in the car business, after taking a deep breath and deciding not to be in it for awhile, was one of those moments. But we never lost confidence that we have a huge amount to offer in this hugely desirable category. We couldn’t be prouder of our first our work for Chevy.

“Everyone here just keeps their heads down and concentrates on doing great work for our clients,” Hirshberg said. “When you do that, everything has a way of working itself out.”