Why GM's Ewanick is excited by new Chevy campaign

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NEW YORK -- General Motors marketing boss Joel Ewanick really likes a new Chevrolet advertising campaign that features the antics of a fictional staff at a Chevrolet dealership.

How much?

"We think there's a TV show in this. I kid you not," Ewanick said in an interview on the sidelines of the auto show here. "We've talked about turning this into an actual show because we've got so much material."

Chevrolet debuted the campaign dubbed "Under the Blue Arch" last month (for the story, click here). The commercials feature an ensemble cast -- from a former-radio-host-turned-salesman to an over-eager rookie -- mostly making fun of one another and goofing off. All the spots are set in a sparkling new Chevy dealership.

Ewanick's musings about a TV show don't seem so far-fetched when you consider that the commercial's creator is Randall Einhorn, who has directed episodes of "The Office," "Parks & Recreation" and "Modern Family."

Ewanick says the commercials convey Chevy dealerships as approachable and friendly. He sees the campaign as a platform that can humorously package a wide range of advertising messages, from the fuel efficiency of the Chevy Cruze to trumpeting Chevy Truck Month in more subtle way.

More than 80 local dealer marketing associations are running the spots, which is far more than the usual number that use Chevy's corporate ads rather than their own content, Ewanick says.

"Dealers are all in," he says. "They love this campaign."

Whether or not it spins off a TV series, one thing is certain: You'll be seeing plenty more of it.

"It's got legs," Ewanick says. "We've just scratched the surface."

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com.

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