Chevrolet’s advertising pitch almost the same even after shake-up

Article by Anita Panait, on April 3, 2012

The massive restructuring of Chevrolet’s marketing efforts may seem to entirely shake up the advertising direction for the brand, but a closer look on how the streamlining was done will say otherwise. The marketing shake-up called for terminating contracts with around 70 creative ad agencies around the world and awarding it to a single contractor. 

Among the casualties were some large advertising firms like Leo Burnett, who handled most of Chevrolet's marketing in the Middle East and Grey Group, which ran much of the brand's ad duties in Europe. However, these 70 creative ad agencies were just managing around 30% of the ad work for Chevrolet. 

The remaining 70% were handled by Goodby Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco and McCann Erickson Worldwide of New York.  Goodby Silverstein, owned by Omnicom Group, had been running the ads for Chevrolet in the United States while McCann Erickson, owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., handled the brand’s marketing in many international markets.

Interestingly, these two companies formed a joint venture dubbed Commonwealth in Detroit, which was recently awarded with Chevy’s entire ad budget. The focus may have changed but there may not be a shift in advertising direction. There may be a light in the tunnel for ad firms that lost business with Chevy as GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick remarked that Commonwealth may rehire some of them.

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