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DAVID BARKHOLZ

Chevy getting back in the game

David Barkholz covers General Motors Co. for Automotive News
New management at General Motors Co. has preached bold, decisive action. So here goes.

Chevrolet is treading new territory this Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards with a commercial concert spot for the new Chevrolet Cruze compact.

Chevrolet has enlisted the band N.E.R.D. to do a 90-second version of the band's hit video "Hot-n-Fun" with special guest singer Ciara. The stage will look like a '50s-era drive-in with the Cruze and new and classic Chevrolet models. A Cruze commercial follows the song and spots will run over the course of the evening.

Chevrolet national advertising manager Mary Kubitskey said Chevrolet is so confident about the youth appeal of the Cruze that it picked the high-profile MTV awards as a coming-out party. The car launches later this month with the base model retailing for $16,995, including shipping.

Nice to see Chevrolet coming out of its shell under new marketing director Joel Ewanick.

No GM commercial has really grabbed me since Cadillac inexplicably dropped its "Break Through" ads featuring Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."

The pulse-quickening chords of that song (often known as "It's Been a Long Time") yelled "let loose" to an audience that long associated Cadillac with the geriatric set. Those commercials, which premiered at the 2003 Super Bowl and ran into 2006, hit the mark.

We'll see how Chevrolet does Sunday evening. Hit or miss, Ewanick is signaling the carmaker's intention to get back in the game.

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