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It Sure is Deep in Here: Chevy is "retooling" and "reinvigorating" so that you'll be "resonating"

Apparently, brand positioning and resulting sales no longer matter in the automotive business. It's all about resonating.

Recently, GM Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick told the world that the time had come. Chevy advertising creative has not "resonated strongly" with consumers.

He's been on the job for one year. The advertising has been running for about that long. Chevy hasn't been a strong brand since about the 1980s when Bob Seger was "Like a Rock" rather than classic rock.

One year after overhauling the company's marketing, Ewanick is "retooling" and looking to "reinvigorate" its "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign to "resonate" and because some ads "don't explain what the slogan means."

Is the purpose of an ad to explain itself? Huh.

Retooling, reinvigorating, and resonating are examples of just the kind of business-speak that avoids what really matters.

How about sales? And what about the use of brand positioning to impact sales?

Since I didn't know what he really wanted, I did some research. Resonance frequency seems to be when the voltage across a tuned filter is maximized. It's that simple: just inject a sine wave through a resistor into the filter and adjust the frequency for peak amplitude. 

On second thought, maybe that's not what he meant, if for no other reason than it had absolutely no marketing or brand positioning context. I also found that you can measure the speed of sound in air by exploiting standing wave and resonance effects in longitudinal waves. But unless this has something to do with word-of-mouth or "buzz," then that may not be likely either.

No, it must be that the chief marketer at one of America's largest companies is referring to MRIs. Everybody knows about those and many have had the procedure, but you might have forgotten that it stands for magnetic resonance imaging -- a form of radiology to visualize detailed internal structures.

That seems right. So, looking at the detailed internal structure of one of these "Chevy Runs Deep" spots I saw the other day, I can finally see what he means. Old people go on a date, get in a car, become younger. My brand positioning MRI says Chevy makes cars for an older demographic and the cars are fun for that type of person. Other spots rely on a lot of nostalgia, which the themeline itself underscores (that's if you could figure it out). 

Chevy's marketing does resonate after all -- as yesterday's brand. And, come to think of it, that has been its consistent message for at least a couple of decades.

Now that's deep.


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