General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson announced last month that he would be “taking a hard look” at the Chevrolet brand in Europe, which holds just a 1.1 per cent share of the market, and mounting a concerted effort to reposition it to co-exist with its sister brand, Opel/Vauxhall, in Europe.
Vijay Iyer, director of communications, Chevrolet Europe, explained that this will not mean that Chevrolet is “suddenly out there” as has been frequently reported since Akerson's comments. Instead it will be a slow process of building brand awareness, which Chevrolet will be approaching from numerous areas of the business rather than simply upping its advertising or marketing activity.
“You can’t simply take one things and push it into every market. In certain regions, certain products will be important. And in some regions brand perception will be different. So it’s really about making sure it’s relevant for the customer,” he said, citing the recent example of the ‘All-American’ Silverado campaign which launched in the US this month.
“It is a very American campaign. While the tonality is Chevrolet, we wouldn’t run this campaign in Europe. But under the umbrella of our new brand platform 'Find New Roads' you will see a consistent execution of the brand globally making sure that we tailor the campaigns to the local needs.'
So what exactly will Chevrolet Europe be doing?
“We are truly looking at this as a culture change, from the way that we devise marketing communications through to all different disciplines, including the whole look, feel and tonality. So it’s a process that takes time and doesn’t automatically mean that we’ll have a big brand campaign.” he said.
“We’re touching all different areas of the business, wither it’s from a dealer perspective, brand awareness perspective, or PR perspective.”
Working with retained IPG agency Commonwealth, the brand is currently leveraging a global collaboration between Chevrolet and the upcoming Dreamworks movie ‘Turbo’ to activate a number of its plus 30 markets in Europe.
Unable to give a projection beyond the next couple of months, Iyer did say that Chevrolet’s partnership with MoFilm, a platform for independent film makers, will be integrated with its upcoming Captiva campaign in Europe.
Chevrolet will also be continuing to partner with YouTube content creators, following the successful ‘Captiva Life Test’ activity last month.
Furthermore, Chevrolet recently worked with The Disney Company in the US on service and service management, a programme that will be rolled out across other regions in the coming months.
“They have an academy where they teach you ‘The Disney Way’ to give you a different perception on the worth of the individual customer. Those are the type of things we are looking at to change the culture.”
Alongside Commonwealth, Carat will be handling Chevrolet’s media planning and buying across Europe.
In terms of market focus, Italy, Spain, Germany are the biggest markets for Chevrolet in Europe, but Turkey is now commanding a larger share of the market and the UK a small but growing proportion.