Brent Bouchez: "I know what the expectations are and I know I can deliver."
Detroit-based agencies have the well-deserved reputation of eating and beating up new top creatives on auto accounts. Your reputation isn't as a car ad guy. Why do you think you'll survive in such a high-pressure job?
I've worked on many big-name, prestigious nonauto accounts. But I've also worked on three auto accounts - Porsche, Acura and BMW - at three agencies before Chevrolet. I have owned my own agency, been president of another and have run creative departments at big and small shops. Pressure is part of the job. I know what the expectations are and know I can deliver.
What's your biggest challenge?
To take Chevy's new campaign, "An American Revolution," and move it forward in bold and imaginative ways. And do it without screwing up.
What do you think of the campaign?
It's a great campaign. It makes me happy to look at it. The print ads don't look like typical car advertising, which is good. They really give Chevy vehicles the status of an American icon. And that's a pretty enviable competitive position.
Can it attain new creative plateaus?
We have several new vehicles to introduce with advertising in the next few months in a very competitive environment. The short answer is yes. The long answer is we must create desire for Chevrolet. But creating desire is more than a just a phrase. It is a benchmark to measure everything we do to help Chevrolet reach its goals and objectives.
How difficult is it to get creative ads to work in print?
Print is an important element in every automotive campaign which demands special skills and talents. Every creative, I feel, must gain print experience before moving on to broadcast creative and production.
Are there other challenges and opportunities in agency creative management?
Agency creatives today are talented, young and creative men and women, but often they lack experience and knowledge in a business. They don't have the background to know that something has been done before by another car advertiser. As creative directors and supervisors, we must guide their activities.
TV commercials are vital in automotive advertising. Where do you feel the industry needs to improve?
Advertising is based on selling. It is not an elite, effete experience. Writing scripts for movies is fine for the lunch hour, not for commercials. Clients on shoots, famous directors and celebrity talent often intimidate inexperienced agency creatives. When I was younger, I was told to always look in the camera - if the picture's not there, it can't be fixed in post-production.
What do you predict for automotive advertising in the next few years?
The old, tried-and-true traditional media may not be as effective or efficient as the new and emerging mediums. Cyber events and nonmedia activities will become important in the marketing communication mix.
What's your favorite part of advertising?
I really like the client presentation process. Sitting in a post-production suite putting a new commercial together is exciting.