Chevrolet, Conde Nast and Macy's think they have a hit on their hands. The three have combined to present fashion shows, direct mailings and test-drive incentives to introduce the Cavalier to young women.
The program, dubbed 'Essentials,' is paying off, says Dianne Hemminger, who until recently was the Cavalier assistant brand manager.
By partnering with Macy's and Conde Nast, Chevy gets to use the databases of both to identify prospects for the small car, who then are invited to a fashion show that is held at one of the country's Macy's stores.
This year's show was held in a mall outside the Macy's store in Springfield, Va., near Washington, D.C. Conde Nast placed inserts about the event in 500,000 copies of its publications that go to subscribers in the Washington area. Another 20,000 Macy's credit card holders were sent invitations. They also were offered a $50 Macy's gift certificate for test driving a Cavalier.
Hemminger, who is now brand promotions manager for the Chevy Impala, said she has not been able to measure the success of this year's event. But after last year's fashion show at a Macy's in downtown San Francisco, 59 percent of the 300 attendees rated the car favorably, compared with 50 percent before the show.
Of the 366 people who said they took test drives after the San Francisco show, 84 percent said they approved of the Cavalier, compared with about half who said they were interested in the car before the test drive.
Hemminger said the program is improving Cavalier's image among the young and hip. She was unable, however, to say how many women bought the cars after the programs.