Chevy Shifts From ‘Genuine’

Cars’ Durability Will Be Focus of New, Lighthearted Campaign
DETROIT–General Motors’ Chevrolet Division will shelve the longstanding “Genuine Chevrolet” tagline for its cars in favor of a message that reinforces the brand’s reliability, sources said.
“We’ll be there” and “Don’t you wish everything was as reliable as a Chevy” are both likely candidates to appear in some form in the campaign, sources said. “Like a rock” will continue as the Chevy truck tagline.
A new campaign reflecting the change will cover all of the division’s car nameplates, shifting from the “baseball and apple pie” approach to a lighthearted initiative demonstrating the Chevy car brand’s durability, sources said.
The strategy is expected to be announced to Chevy dealership owners at their annual convention in mid-September.
Executives at Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich., Chevy’s national agency, referred questions to the client. A Chevrolet representative declined comment.
“Genuine Chevrolet” was first introduced nearly four and a half years ago, replacing the venerable “Heartbeat of America” tagline.
However, the “Genuine Chevrolet” tag was notably absent from a divisional TV spot that aired earlier this year. The 60-second “American Snapshots” spot ended with the Chevrolet bowtie emblem and a voiceover that said, “Wherever America’s going, we’ll be there” [Adweek, March 1].
Chevy spent $250 million on ads for its car division in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The division has been struggling to maintain its share of the passenger car and truck market.
Chevy isn’t alone. Ford Motor Co. is reportedly in the process of reviewing all its divisional tags, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
Ford has already announced changes for the Lincoln and Mercury taglines, but sources said it’s possible many of the other tags could change as the company searches for a more integrated identity for its cars.
Ford’s truck tagline, “Built Ford tough,” is likely to be retained, sources said.