DETROIT-Despite the sales success of its full-size pickup truck, General Motors' Chevrolet division hopes to differentiate its smaller sibling, the S-10 pickup, with the launch of a new TV and print campaign.
While the campaign uses the same tagline as all Chevy truck ads, "Like a rock," the S-10 executions provide a new, rugged image for the truck, while stressing how the vehicle fits into its owners active lifestyles.
"So many [other advertisers] in this category are treating the compact pickup like it's a younger stepbrother of the full-size truck, [like] cute little trucks," said Bill Ludwig, chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald Advertising, in Warren, Mich., Chevrolet's national agency.
"We learned from our anthropological research that [compact truck drivers] really want to be seen as self-reliant. They like the physicality of the truck, the bruteness of the truck," he said.
Compact truck buyers see their vehicle as an expression of their own self image, he said, and they consider themselves to be "rugged individualists."
The four 30-second TV spots broke Sept. 6 on ABC and NBC college football broadcasts. Each ad profiles an actual S-10 owner in an action-filled scene that is resolved with their S-10 compact pickups.
Two of the spots highlight vehicle attributes, while the other two are geared more toward image building, Ludwig said.
One spot, "Brawl," features a man being thrown headlong out a 14th story window.
The camera catches him falling toward the ground, while the voiceover says, "Meet Shawn Graham, veteran stuntman. This is how he lives."
The actor lands safely on a giant air bag, then the scene cuts to a shot of the S-10. "And this is what he drives," the voiceover concludes.
Print ads will appear in the October issues of active lifestyle magazines, such as Bicycling.