Not even LeBron James can overshadow the GMC Hummer EV pickup's massive performance figures.
Phil Brook, GMC’s vice president of marketing, says the numbers speak for themselves in the ad, which features the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. The 30-second "Quiet Revolution" Super Bowl spot touted how the pickup's expected 11,500 pound-feet of torque and 1,000 hp will be delivered in a hushed fashion thanks to its electric foundation. The ad aired in the second quarter.
Brook expects the presence of James, who will endorse the Hummer EV moving forward, to only amplify the ad's reach.
Brook spoke with Staff Reporter Vince Bond Jr. about how the automaker found the right message for the spot, why James was selected and how consumers will react to an electric Hummer that's a complete turnaround from its gas-guzzling predecessor. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: When did you decide that Hummer would be featured in this spot?
A: It was towards the end of last year. We were having a few different thoughts about how we would make the announcement and when we would make the announcement, and it became fairly clear that this was a good time.
Was the commercial shot this year?
It was shot as soon as we turned into the new year, yes.
How did this idea of the "Quiet Revolution" come about? What was your inspiration?
We've spent a lot of time around the vehicle, thinking about the vehicle, and when you combine the performance numbers that it's capable of, it feels like it should be a big, noisy, in-your-face kind of a product. But the reality is because of the fact that it's all electric, it's near silent.
We thought that was an interesting idea. The other part of it is that when someone buys one of these and owns one, they won't need to be out there bragging about how good this thing is. The numbers are going to do the talking for them. That was kind of the thinking behind the "Quiet Revolution" idea.
How will consumers respond to an electric Hummer? It's so different from the previous generation.
We think they're going to love it. Because the Hummer EV has incredible capability with zero emission, it really is the best of both worlds. Any association with the brand is fairly distant. This is a different kind of vehicle for a different time and a different generation. It really does announce that GMC is very serious about the electric space and we're getting into it in a big way. It's really a big statement.
Was it difficult to find the right message for this commercial?
It was surprisingly easy. The numbers really do the talking for the vehicle, and that's where this "Quiet Revolution" came from. And the fact that the vehicle is so different from anything else we've done before because it's all electric and it's near silent when it's in operation, so we thought that was just a really nice idea. When we started from there, bringing that to life was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, and it happened in a very short period of time. A huge amount of work has happened in a relatively short period of time to pull together something that we're incredibly proud of.