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CHEVROLET EVOLVES “REAL PEOPLE NOT ACTORS” INTO SOMETHING BETTER

The Bowtie Brand Stealthily Introduced A New Ad Campaign That Aims To Drive More Emotion Than Before

Chevrolet Suburban Tahoe Reveal Find New Roads

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.”

C8 Corvette

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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