Chevrolet succeeds with youth-focused campaign for Sonic

Article by Anita Panait, on July 11, 2012

Attracting young individuals to buy its vehicles had been a challenge for the marketers at Chevrolet. Not until they took the challenge for the launch of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. To put on a fresh face for the Chevrolet Sonic, its marketers thought of implementing a promotional stunt that entailed having a professional skateboarder soar more than 50 feet in between ramps while flipping the subcompact 360 degrees.

Here was another hitch --the stunt was to be performed live. Due to the stunt’s extremely dangerous nature, Chevrolet marketers had to seek approval from General Motors’ top honchos as well as corporate lawyers.

The stunt, dubbed as “Let's Do This" was eventually approved and Rob Dyrdek successfully did what was wildly planned! Thanks to that stunt, the Sonic was able to attract the attention of young consumers. As a matter of fact, Sonic blasted its way to become the second best-selling subcompact in the US next to the Nissan Versa.

The Sonic likewise jumped from the No. 4 or 5 position routinely occupied by its Aveo predecessor. Both GM insiders and outsiders agree that the six-month, Web-only launch was able to built awareness among people in their 20s and 30s even before Chevrolet launched the Sonic to a wider audience through TV commercials.

The success prompted Chevrolet to possibly use the publicity stunt as a template for future launches of youth-oriented cars, like the upcoming Chevy Spark minicar. The campaign was able to draw attention from a target market which Chevrolet did not have much traction with, according to Chris Perry, Chevrolet's vice president of global marketing.

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