D’Arcy Pushes Aztek Versatility

Launch for GM Hybrid Is First Under Shop’s New Top Creative
DETROIT–A $30 million launch campaign from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles for the new Pontiac Aztek keys on the vehicle’s versatility with creative that agency executives describe as “risk-taking.”
The launch is significant for General Motors because the Aztek is the first in a scheduled string of new models that focus on functionality. The campaign is also important for D’Arcy because it’s the first work for GM under the Troy, Mich., shop’s new chief creative officer, Robin Weeks.
The spots feature the tagline, “Quite possibly the most versatile vehicle on the planet,” to describe the vehicle which crosses over traditional vehicle category lines. GM touts the Aztek as a “sport recreation vehicle” possessing the ruggedness of a sport utility, the handling of a sport sedan and the practicality of a van.
TV spots key on vehicle features such as the middle armrest, which lifts out of the vehicle to become an insulated cooler holding 12 beverages.
The first five 30-second spots follow a likable young couple as they wisecrack through various activities.
The spots open with a shot of the vehicle and cut to a shot of the couple; “Meet Sam and Katie,” the voice-over continues. “They’re about to …” At that point, three written choices with boxes appear on the screen. A paint splat picks the activity and the spot goes on to show the couple engaging in it–from rock climbing to playing chess on the Aztek’s tailgate.
After the first activity, the voiceover says, “Right after that they ” Three more choices appear on the screen, and the paint splat marks another activity.
The spots are intended to have a slightly unpolished, “live” feel with less-than-perfect lighting and some ad-libbed copy, Weeks said. The various vignettes that the couple engage in can be combined in an infinite number of ways, which will keep viewers more engaged than just running the same two or three spots over and over, said Brian Durocher, an account director for the model.
The automaker will begin selling the vehicle in selected West and Southwest markets this month, with national availability slated for September. A total of 10 TV spots will air nationally on CBS’s Survivor series until September, at which point the media schedule will be expanded. Outdoor and print breaks in lifestyle magazines in September as well, Durocher said. K