Camaro Ads Roll Out

Ailing Sports Car Gets Personality Makeover In New Campaign From Campbell-Ewald
DETROIT–General Motors’ Chevrolet division this week will give its restyled Camaro a new personality and a larger advertising budget in an effort to reverse the car’s sales slump.
Two new 30-second TV spots break Oct. 14 from Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., Chevrolet’s national agency.
“Pass” starts with bluesy rock music as the camera cuts between shots of motorcycles and the Camaro. A voiceover warns, “We wouldn’t recommend trying this in just any car,” as the Camaro makes its way through a stream of bikers. “Dueling Exhaust” has no dialogue, just an on-screen signoff, “New 305-HP Camaro,” followed by a small Chevrolet logo. Both spots emphasize the car’s brute power.
Print ads breaking at the end of the month are “in-your-face, hyper-real,” said Bill Ludwig, CEA chief creative officer. One carries the headline, “Politically correct it ain’t.”
Chevrolet spent nearly $26 million advertising the Camaro in 1996, down from previous years, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Camaro sales also are down, off nearly 23 percent for the just-ended 1997 model year, compared with ’96, according to GM figures.
While past advertising carried the “Genuine Chevrolet” umbrella theme, the agency chose to put emphasis for the new work on communicating an attitude and personality for the vehicle–what Ludwig called “the honest American performance car.”