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Malibu will 'take over' the digital world on Oct. 17th

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The Ad Campaign You Can't Ignore: Chevy Malibu
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Sharon Terlep | Link to Original Article @ The Detroit News


WARREN -- So much is riding on the new Chevrolet Malibu that General Motors Corp. will back it up with an ad blitz as big as last year's $300 million launch of the top-selling Silverado pickup.

The pickup launch went down as one of GM's biggest ad campaigns in history, and now the automaker is vowing similar treatment for its redesigned midsize sedan -- a segment long neglected by Detroit's Big Three.

The stakes couldn't be higher for GM and the Malibu, which hits showrooms Nov. 1. The sedan is the automaker's most critical launch in years at a time when more fuel-efficient cars are becoming more important to automakers' viability in North America.

But to have any measure of success, GM must begin to reverse a deep-seated perception that the Malibu is a dowdy family hauler destined for rental fleets.

"We're not on their radar screen right now, and we need to be," Kim Kosak, Chevrolet director of advertising, said of a younger, more affluent demographic. "We've got to make this consumer believe that the Malibu can challenge a (Toyota) Camry or (Honda) Accord."

GM is prepared to spend truck-size proportions to attract more women, singles and urban dwellers to the sedan.

The Silverado "Our Country" campaign racked up $295 million in ad spending, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Chevy officials on Thursday said the Malibu launch will be as costly.

Some Malibu ads also will play off the Silverado's popularity. Kosak said market studies show many Camry and Accord owners also have a Chevy truck. With that in mind, one ad shows an automotive designer sculpting a clay model of a Silverado into a Malibu.

Ads go on skyscrapers


But that's where the similarities end between car and truck.

Where the Silverado launch relied on Americana-themed TV ads and a John Mellencamp tune, GM is trying to embrace new strategies with the Malibu.

Ads will be plastered on skyscrapers in the nation's biggest metropolises, from Times Square to Hollywood Boulevard. And GM will team up with the nation's largest publisher of women's fashion magazines -- Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue and Glamour -- for a tour of upscale malls and a host of interactive activities.

A massive online presence -- what GM calls "unprecedented digital domination" -- also will be a key element of the campaign. On Wednesday, Malibu ads will be so plentiful on the nation's top home pages that an estimated 80 percent of online users that day will see one. The tone will be edgy and honest, Kosak said, and won't shy from the reality that Toyota and Honda rule the market for midsize cars. One print magazine ad says: "We're tired of being a foreign car in our own country."

The catchphrase for the campaign is: "The car you can't ignore," a play on perception of midsize sedans as forgettable.

Fighting for the market


GM has been making a concerted effort to win back some of the midsize market, dominated for years by the Camry and Accord. Toyota spent about $270 million to roll out its new Camry last year, according to Nielsen.

Toyota has sold more than 360,000 Camrys this year and Honda 302,000 Accords, but Malibu sales barely surpassed 90,000 through September.

The carmaker's other midsize offering, the Saturn Aura, has garnered high praise from critics, but struggled to gain much traction in the showroom.

The 2008 Malibu will start at $19,995, more than $2,000 higher than this year's model and about $285 less than the base price of the Toyota Camry.

The Malibu will come with more standard equipment than the old models, Chevy says. A gasoline-electric hybrid version will start at $22,790.

GM's key challenge will be to get on the shopping lists of consumers who long ago wrote off domestic nameplates.

Even Kosak acknowledged that the first converts to the new Malibu will more likely come from other domestic brands or foreign nameplates such as Kia and Nissan, not from Camry and Accord buyers.

Chevy will have to work hard to rise above the noise and become credible, said Alexander Edwards, a marketing expert with Strategic Vision in San Diego.

For one thing, the brand is going up against companies that already have mastered nontraditional media.

Toyota's Scion nameplate, for example, managed to crack the elusive youth culture, while Hyundai is making headway in minority communities.

Both are using one-on-one time with consumers.

"With the media blitz that every person gets each day, it can make such things less effective," Edwards said.

"But the main purpose of these blanket ads it to generate interest in the product -- if people get interested, they may try the vehicle."

GM Press Release
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  • Marketing Effort Will Prove All-New Malibu Competes With Accord, Camry;
  • Features Biggest One-Day Digital Takeover Ever by a Marketer
DETROIT – When the all-new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu begins rolling into dealer showrooms on Nov. 1, Americans should already be aware that Chevy is back in the car business with a serious competitor in the mid-size segment, thanks to a massive advertising and promotional campaign that kicks off Oct. 17.

This integrated marketing push -- the latest in Chevrolet’s “American Revolution” campaign -- will launch with an unprecedented one-day digital takeover of the leading online portals and automotive, sports and lifestyle Web sites. Malibu advertising will dominate broadcast and online coverage of the Major League Baseball 2007 League Championships and World Series, as well as other programming on primetime network and cable television. It will also feature prominently in out-of-home and print media, including USA Today and automotive enthusiast magazines.

“We are introducing the all-new Malibu to America with a ‘no stone left unturned’ marketing effort. We want the entire country to know that this car, which is designed to be the best in the mid-size segment, is coming, and that it has bulletproof quality, coupled with beautiful interior and exterior design,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager. “ Malibu has the look, feel and content of a $40,000 car but it costs less than half that amount. It truly will be the car you can’t ignore.”

The Malibu campaign will launch in three sequential phases. The first phase will involve an intense, unavoidable burst of activity aimed to get the all-new Malibu on consumers’ radar screens and begin to open their minds to the fact that the Malibu is a true contender. The second phase will take a methodical approach to build credibility about the Malibu’s competitiveness using third-party endorsements. The third phase will emotionally engage consumers and deliver the proof of why Malibu is the car Americans can’t ignore.

“The Malibu campaign is not a one-day wonder. It will be a sustained, disciplined marketing effort to tell America about the all-new Malibu,” said Kim Kosak, general director, Chevrolet advertising and sales promotion. “We know we face a big challenge because Malibu is going up against strong competitors like Accord and Camry. But we know we have a great product, a strong media plan, and a creative advertising and promotional campaign to tell our story. We’re confident we can get the new Malibu on people’s shopping lists.”

Kosak noted that although the marketing campaign for the all-new Malibu is massive, it’s not a mass-market approach. She also revealed that there will be specific efforts to communicate with women, Hispanics and African Americans about the all-new Malibu, as well as to consumers in targeted geographic markets around the country.

“The all-new Malibu is the most-researched car in Chevy’s history, and our marketing campaign is also the most-researched plan we’ve ever developed,” Kosak said. “We know who the Malibu’s target buyers are, and we have designed customized media plans for all of them to connect with them in a targeted way.”

Created by Campbell-Ewald, the campaign will include messages about the Malibu’s quality, reliability and durability; the highly designed interior and exterior; its quietness and safety features; and the hybrid version, which will be the most-affordable in the midsize segment.

“The Malibu target audience is deeply entrenched in their beliefs. They are highly skeptical of anyone’s ability to compete with Camry and Accord,” said Bill Ludwig, vice chairman, chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald. “This campaign is designed to shock their systems, attack their beliefs and debunk myths. We want them to start out skeptical and end up wowed. The great thing is, we have the product to do that.”
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Now this is one car that, overall, I like a lot. It's really poised. There are a couple of "nips and tucks" I'd do with a pencil but, overall, it's a giant leap from its predecessor. I am really looking forward to test-driving one.

It looks like GM is turning out a stable of winners.

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Excellent ideas. Excellent car. I hope they are wildly successful.
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The ad in my new Automobile magazine this month is pretty nice, but GM always has really nice ads in just Automobile magazine that are very nicely done centerfolds. Why don't I see these in the other magazines, like C&D, Motortrend, or Road&Track?!!

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Sweet this sounds good to me. Fly where did you get the Malibu Ad photo? Is it on the Wieck because I want one, just about 8X larger!

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I do find this ad slightly ironic, given the car uses a resurrected name from an American icon in the 60's and 70's. But overall, I like the campaign. This sounds quite encouraging.

-RBB

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Fall In Love With A New Chevy Instead Of Reminiscing About An Old One.

That should be Chevy's new line for everything.

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Fall In Love With A New Chevy Instead Of Reminiscing About An Old One.

That should be Chevy's new line for everything.

One of the best recent tag lines any automaker has used.

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This actually sounds really good!

I did enjoy the "We're tired of being a foreign car in our own country" ad this month. I didn't think it represented the car as well as the 5 page (or so) Chevy division ads in the fasion magazines though The one I saw featured a variety of celebs with the Tahoe Hybrid, Volt, Malibu and a few other cars.

Lets hope this packs as big of a punch as it says it will because Chevy is going to need it to get through the 20 years of japcrap brainwashing.

On a more positive note, it seems that the Fusion, Milan and G6 have had some success at cracking this niche from what I can tell. But nothing as large scale as this attempt or as large scale as theey should be.

For one thing, the brand is going up against companies that already have mastered nontraditional media.

Toyota's Scion nameplate, for example, managed to crack the elusive youth culture, while Hyundai is making headway in minority communities.

Yeah, but that was TOO easy for them... 1) They already own that demographic anyway and 2) They don't have the media hovering over them constantly holding a sign up telling people not to buy their product.

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There is a huge 6+ page ad in the current issue of Motor Trend, but they never once show the back end of the car.

The picture above is the first time I've seen the ass of the car in an ad.

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I really like the exterior styling of this car, but interior and gas mileage won't compare well to the Accord, and the Accord has more power. They better not forget about the Altima either, that has become a sales winner. I just hope they don't do "this is our country, this is our car" ads with John Mellencamp.

I read they are going to limit rental fleet sales to 20% (down from 40% currently) on the new malibu. The Camry and Accord are closer to 7%, so I think the Malibu will still seem like a rental car when 1 out of 5 is a bare bones silver one on the Enterprise lot.

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Wait a minute...

Toyota's Scion nameplate, for example, managed to crack the elusive youth culture, while Hyundai is making headway in minority communities.

I thought there was something a little while back about how most of the Scions were being purchased by old people? lol

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Toyota's Scion nameplate, for example, managed to crack the elusive youth culture, while Hyundai is making headway in minority communities.

Hyundai has always had a large portion of the "minority communities".

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I read they are going to limit rental fleet sales to 20% (down from 40% currently) on the new malibu. The Camry and Accord are closer to 7%, so I think the Malibu will still seem like a rental car when 1 out of 5 is a bare bones silver one on the Enterprise lot.

Camry is about 15-18%, Accord is about 7-9%.

Also, as another piece stated, the vast majority of those Malibus up for rent will be well-equipped with alloys, sunroofs, and midlevel equipment. No strippers like Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota are so fond of dumping.

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I like these side profile shots, makes the car look almost Audi-esque...... definately looks more expensive than it is.

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this is all doomed to failure, because the malibu is a worthless car. To spend so much on advertising a car that lacks nav is a guaranteed failure.

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The picture above is the first time I've seen the ass of the car in an ad.

since when did they take up to photographing my old diamante for a chevy ad?

LOL

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i can't say enough for how happy I am with this marketing launch. The ideas posted above are phenomonal---one day takeover, ads posted on skyscrapers----GM embracing the potential to market to Americans of all classes and scope. Americans that are the trendsetters--in the most congested cities where a rolling advertisement is as good as selling the car to 100 more people. The most expensive Malibu with the best two tones need to be featured prominently. The honest tag lines are great too--the whole line about we're tired of being a foreign car in our country-fan-freakin-tastic.

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this is all doomed to failure, because the malibu is a worthless car. To spend so much on advertising a car that lacks nav is a guaranteed failure.

It has nav.... onstar turn by turn

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It has nav.... onstar turn by turn

touche' !!!!!!!

surely you could sense my sarcasm in that post, BTW. the 2% of people that spend 2 grand for nav.

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this is all doomed to failure, because the malibu is a worthless car. To spend so much on advertising a car that lacks nav is a guaranteed failure.

An option I rarely ever see choosen on the popular midsize cars . I hope that comment was sarcasm . Hell , when I worked at Audi/VW , even in the A4 ....Navi was rarely ever ordered .

EDIT .......didnt see the post by u right above me :D

Edited by silverss/sc
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I do find this ad slightly ironic, given the car uses a resurrected name from an American icon in the 60's and 70's. But overall, I like the campaign. This sounds quite encouraging.

-RBB

It's fine because in most people's minds it's an old Crapalier. Their minds won't go that far.
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