Chevrolet draws Super Bowl attention with 7-second blackout spot

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 13, 2015

How would you feel if you are watching one of the biggest games on TV and then it all went black? This would surely catch your attention. Chevrolet wanted that kind of attention during the live broadcast of the Super Bowl XLIX and got it! One of Chevrolet’s spots for the Colorado midsize pickup entailed a simulated power outage that suddenly yet temporarily turned TV screens black for a couple of seconds.

Those glued to their TV sets are more likely to react having a blacked out game. That reaction was what Chevrolet's "Blackout" spot got, although it was a pretty risky move. It was risky enough that it took less than a week before the Super Bowl until Paul Edwards, Chevrolet's US vice president of marketing, and his team to decide on how long the blackout should last.

Eventually, Chevrolet and NBC, the game’s broadcaster, settled on seven (7) seconds. For seven seconds, screens went black and after that a message popped out: "What would you do if your TV went out?"

The spot was actually a pitch for the Colorado's 4G LTE connectivity. Executives at Chevrolet andad agency Commonwealth//McCann knew that a blackout too long might risk inciting ticked-off fans, which should number millions.

"Seven seconds was about that magic number where it was enough time to draw people in, but then to give them a big fat smile right after letting them know it was a commercial from Chevrolet," Edwards remarked.

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