Chevy Volt Owners Are Happy, Chevy Volt Ad Watchers Less So

Real people gush about their cars in stark new spots

Quick, somebody zap these Chevy-Volt-happy folks with a taser! They need a jolt of reality. The new "Happy Volt Owners" campaign for Chevrolet's hybrid car presents actual owners extolling the virtues of their vehicles in a manner that borders on self-parody. That effect is heightened by the uneasy mashup of styles. These spots cross the old customer-centric/feel-good vibe of GM's Saturn introduction with Apple's more recent white-backdrop minimalism, minus the originality and impact of either one of those efforts. Insisting, repeatedly, that the hybrid is like a sports car won't make it so. And taking obsessive pride in "vehicle ID numbers"—marking each Volt's order of production—plays like something from The Prisoner. ("You are No. 6. I am No. 1. Buy a Volt. Conform!") I'm sure these overly earnest people are perfectly nice. But with their sweater vests and wire-rim specs, they come off like weird aging hipsters who will be late with the rent on their grown kids' Park Slope pads because they blew 40 grand on Volts to help ease the pain they feel at Levon Helm's passing. No offense, but when I want to gaze upon the receding hairline of a middle-aged nerd, I'll glance at myself in the rearview mirror as I tool around in my Honda Civic, which is a hyper-sexy muscle car compared to the low-wattage wheels on display here. Many, many more ads after the jump.

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