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Chevy HHR stars in offbeat TV ads

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Chevy HHR stars in offbeat TV ads
Division also will push HHR, Impala on Web, in print

By Laura Clark Geist
Automotive News / September 05, 2005


DETROIT -- Chevrolet is taking product placement to new lengths in its advertising launches of the new HHR and re-engineered Impala.

To launch the 2006 HHR small wagon, the brand is sponsoring a contest that invites consumers to shoot videos or photos that use the letters HHR in creative ways. Winning entries will air during the Sept. 22 episode of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Chevrolet is buying all of the ad time on that night's show.

As part of the 2006 Impala launch, Chevrolet will display a digital image of the mid-sized sedan's logo in the scenes of five CBS prime-time shows from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23.

Chevy will spend 21 percent of the HHR's advertising budget on digital media, says Kim Kosak, Chevrolet's general director of advertising and sales promotion. That's more than double the digital share for a typical launch, Kosak says.

The target customers for the HHR indicate "a reliance on nontraditional media," she says.

The Impala campaign represents the biggest digital launch in General Motors history, she adds.

Kosak would not disclose Chevrolet's total spending on the two ad campaigns.

The Chevrolet Web site hhrya.com has received more than 1,000 HHR contest entries. The winner will receive a customized HHR.

Starting this month, Chevrolet also is sponsoring "The Biz" on America Online. The Internet reality show features 10 contestants who compete to run a music label for a year. The contestants will drive HHRs and use the vehicle in a show task.

By contrast, nearly 90 percent of Chevrolet's spending on the Impala campaign focuses on traditional TV and print ads, Kosak says.

The Impala emblem, which has been the car's symbol since 1958, also will appear in premiere-week episodes of the CBS series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Yes, Dear," "NCIS," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Threshold."

The image will appear in each show's content for about eight seconds, Kosak says. Viewers who spot the logo can log on to the Web site cbs.com.impala to enter a contest to win an Impala.

Andrea Wells, executive vice president of Chevrolet's advertising agency, Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., says the Impala campaign "takes advantage of the big traditional media consumption, but it does it in a big disruptive way."

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all of the ad time for Jay Lenos show... you mean during the comercials all you get to see are GM products... WOW... expensive...

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