Tiny Chevy Sonic to get big Super Bowl pitch
Photo credit: GM
DETROIT -- General Motors plans to air a pair of commercials on Super Bowl Sunday to plug its Chevrolet Sonic small car, which has been selling well since its autumn launch despite a Web-only marketing campaign.
The Sonic will be featured in two of the seven commercials that Chevy plans to run for the big game, including one of two 60-second spots that are planned. The Volt plug-in hybrid, Silverado pickup and Camaro also will star.
The seven spots are two more than Chevy ran during last year's Super Bowl coverage. GM also will air an in-game Cadillac commercial, bringing the automaker's total to eight spots that will run before, during or after the Feb. 5 matchup between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.
The 60-second Sonic commercial is an anthem ad that stitches together footage of the subcompact car bungee jumping and being launched from a plane.
It's set to the song "We Are Young" by the New York indie band Fun.
The Sonic spots enable GM to showcase its first competitive small-car offering in many years and are aimed at the teens and 20-somethings that the automaker is trying hard to reach.
But they also build awareness of Chevy's vastly improved car portfolio, says Rich Martinek, group advertising manager for Chevy.
"It's not just an opportunity to sell Sonics," Martinek says. "It's to reinforce the changes we're making overall from a brand perspective."
GM sold 5,743 Sonics last month, more than the Hyundai Accent (5,316), Honda Fit (5,138) and Ford Fiesta (3,673).
A 30-second Sonic spot features animated bugs going for a joy ride while plastered against the grille of a hatchback version.
Another 30-second commercial is a continuation of an ongoing campaign that aims to better explain the technology behind the Volt plug-in hybrid. It features a bleary-eyed Volt owner who catches aliens in his garage in the middle of the night -- the third such encounter in a week -- inspecting the car's technology.
"It's electric, but when I need to go farther it uses gas," the man tells the green creatures. "Please, tell me you understand."
Chevy also will run a 60-second Silverado commercial and a spot called "Chevy Happy Grad," which GM chose as part of a contest that drew entries from nearly 200 independent filmmakers in 32 countries.
The commercial, made by a 26-year-old Long Island filmmaker, shows an overly enthusiastic response from a young man in his graduation robe who mistakenly believes his parents gave him a new Camaro convertible.
Thirty-second Super Bowl slots are running around $3.5 million, according to Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News. But GM receives a better rate because it's a large advertiser on NBC, which is airing this year's game, said Chris Perry, Chevrolet's global marketing director.
Perry said Chevy will have its biggest ever online presence for this year's game. It's promoting a mobile app that will allow users to connect via Twitter, win prizes and play trivia during the game.
Chevy also is the exclusive sponsor for a partnership between Twitter and the NFL called "Road to the #SuperBowl," which tracks the number of Tweets that mention players from each team.
"Last year we were much more TV-focused," Martinek said. "We decided to make this much more multichanneled."
You can reach Mike Colias at firstname.lastname@example.org.