The Chevrolet “Real People Not Actors” ad spots have now run their course. They may not have been a favorite among everybody, with some going as far as to make spoofs of the ad spots, but they have nevertheless been deemed a success internally by the brand. These ads, “Shattering Perceptions” as they’re also known, date back to the mid-2010s with such vehicles as the then-new Chevrolet Malibu and then-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. Eventually just about every vehicle in the Chevy portfolio got a spot. But consumer appetites are switching, and now it’s time for something new.
“‘Find New Roads’ is still our tagline, it’s still very much a part of the Chevrolet marketing message. Yes you’re seeing us evolve from the ‘Real People Not Actors’ element, and it’s really because of how the world is changing, and with our new product launches,” said Todd Brown, manager of advertising and marketing for Chevy cars, in an interview with MC&T. “It was a really good time to go from a more practical, pragmatic message that ‘Real People Not Actors’ was… and now we’re transitioning to a little bit more emotive, and less practical. We’ve done research and that’s what consumers are craving right now. A little bit more emotion, a little bit more connection, focus on the great product, and a little bit less on the practicality.”
One of the first ads taking this new tone features the all-new Chevrolet Trailblazer:
Compare this to one of the earlier “Real People” ad spots:
“(Real People Not Actors) served us very well… what we called ‘Shattering Perceptions’ was really important because we had a lot of data that showed customers just didn’t believe the amount of strides we made in quality, technology and reliability in our vehicles,” explained Brown. “And that’s how ‘Shattering Perceptions’ was born and continued to evolve… a lot of perceptions have changed… it really did do its job. But like any campaign, there’s time for evolution.”
While the Trailblazer ad is first to air, future spots are expected for all-new Chevrolet products, across different mediums. Brown noted that there are ad spots for the Tahoe and Suburban are coming soon. And if there are strong “breakthrough” metrics, then we may expect these emotive ad spots to carry on.
“One of the biggest metrics we look at is called ‘breakthrough’, where we talk to customers about ads, and do they remember the ad, and do they remember who the ad was for?,” said Brown. “With ‘Real People Not Actors,’ our breakthrough measures continued to grow, and once the customer acknowledges the ad and who it was for, we go into different questions… but it really starts with breakthrough, and we had really strong measurements with that.”