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.

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.

Viewed from every side, Chevrolet Sonic sedan and other five-door variants exude power, a stable stance and elegance. With its low and broad dimensions, the wheels can be positioned at extreme corners, hinting at an amazing performance. Aggressive, raked exterior lines convey movement even when the vehicle is at a complete stop.

Progressive signs, like the fender flares and bike-inspired circular headlights, are mixed with international design factors - a twin-element grille and circular taillights - for a style immediately noticeable as a Chevy.

The leading side of the hood shapes a character line at the top of the headlights, which runs in an elegant side profile made sleek by continuous exterior side lines, a low roofline and a high beltline. The side mirrors are also carved the same way as the vehicle and seem to blend with the car's design.

The five-door has a compact, two-box form with strong, steep feature lines, and on the other hand, the sedan has a more luxurious vibe. At first look, the five-door variant appears like a three-door instead because the backdoor handles are hidden in the "C"-pillar section. The back of the five-door is fitted with modern details, along with exposed bike-inspired back taillights.

Some of the elements that highlight the Sonic's fine details and quality are the chrome grille surrounds and honeycomb grille inserts in matte black that are seen on all variants, and a range of huge wheel sizes plus 17-inch alloy wheels, defines its athletic stance.

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