Crain News Service
DETROIT - Chevrolet is getting nostalgic.
General Motors is reviving its 1950s-era 'See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet' theme song in a 30-second commercial breaking Wednesday, Feb. 24, during the broadcast of the Grammy Awards.
The song was last used more than 30 years ago, but continues to score strongly with consumers, so Chevrolet is bringing it back, said an executive close to GM who asked not to be named.
The TV spot is a moving montage of historic photos showing past celebrities such as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe with Chevrolet cars.
It retains the 3-year-old 'Genuine Chevrolet' tag line.
The old jingle will be used in all Chevrolet car commercials, said the executive, although truck commercials will retain Bob Seger's 'Like a Rock' music.
'See the U.S.A.' was the theme song of TV's 'Dinah Shore Chevy Show' from 1956 until 1963. Shore sang the song to start and end every show.
The theme harkens back to days when 'people had great feelings for (Chevrolet),' said James Hall, vice president of AutoPacific, a Santa Ana, Calif. consulting firm. He noted that Chevrolet had a 32.8 percent share of the U.S. market in 1962. Today, all of GM has less than 30 percent.
'People who are 50, at the edge of the baby boom, still have a soft spot in their hearts (for Chevrolet) because of their experiences with these cars. But is Chevrolet really going to make inroads with that (song) to appeal to people in their 20s and 30s?' asked Dan Gorrell, vice president of Strategic Vision, a consulting firm in San Diego.
News of the jingle's return has been traveling on the industry grapevine. Plus, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, the music played in the background during the unveiling of the 2000 model Chevrolet Impala - and Shore was shown on a video.
Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., handles the $500 million national Chevrolet advertising account. The agency declined comment.