GM Breaks TV Campaign for 2002 Avalanche

General Motors’ Chevy division will launch TV spots on Monday for its 2002 cross-utility vehicle, the Avalanche. The ads, part of a multi-million dollar campaign, focus on the truck’s central feature, its midgate, which allows the vehicle to convert from an SUV with a 5′ 3″ external bed to a full-sized pick-up.

The TV ads, via Campbell-Ewald, Detroit, will run this summer with a limited exposure in Texas, California and Florida. National breakout will follow in September. The ads have an outdoors, active-lifestyle theme, and target higher-income men from 30 to 45.

Using a series of puns, each 30-second execution plays off of the truck’s convertibility. One spot, shot in what looks like a former Colorado mining town, has the Avalanche careering up to a curb. Out leaps the driver who is met at the curb by a picaresque rogue with a dollar bill. “Change for a dollar?” The driver lifts the midgate, and the pickup becomes an SUV. Then he takes the bill.

The second one has two men giving the Avalanche a workout on a Rubicon-like rutted trail. Suddenly the truck stops short in a cloud of dust. The guy riding shotgun says, “Want to switch?” They both jump out, but instead of changing places, they drop the midgate, making the SUV a truck, leap back in, same seating.