GM Taps Spike DDB for Chevy

In Multicultural Ramp-up, Brand Gets First African-American Agency in Years

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NEW YORK ( -- General Motors Co. is slowly but surely rounding out its agency lineup for the Chevrolet brand. The automaker this afternoon named Spike DDB as its African-American agency of record on Chevy, and the shop will begin work on the account immediately.

Spike DDB is the joint partnership between film director Spike Lee and DDB Worldwide focusing on integrated communications and niche marketing to African-Americans, trendsetters and transcultural consumers. It is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Mr. Lee also maintains his film-production company, 40 Acres and a Mule.

According to a GM spokeswoman, Chevrolet hasn't had an African-American agency of record in years. Sanders/Wingo, El Paso, Texas, most recently had the account. Publicis Groupe's Vigilante, among other African-American agencies, had done some assignments for the brand as well.

"We've seen outstanding work from Spike DDB for their current clients and the creative approach they offer Chevrolet will be a great fit for the brand," said Chris Perry, U.S. VP of Chevrolet marketing. "Along with the recent announcement of LatinWorks, we are expanding our multicultural agency representation and emphasizing the importance of multicultural consumers to Chevrolet."

Spike DDB joins Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and LatinWorks as part of Chevrolet's agency roster. San Francisco-based Goodby is the brand's general-market agency of record; LatinWorks, Austin, Texas, is the Hispanic agency of record. Both were selected, without review, by new GM VP-U.S. Marketing Joel Ewanick. Unlike the scattershot of African-American work, Mr. Ewanick's choice of LatinWorks replaced 13-year Hispanic marketing incumbent Accentmarketing, Miami. LatinWorks was Advertising Age's 2009 Multicultural Agency of the Year.

"We believe we've sought out and found the right agency partners for Chevrolet," Mr. Ewanick said. "Chevrolet has always been an inclusive brand and we want all our agencies to help us get that message to consumers."

It is not known if Spike DDB will have a presence in Detroit.

The appointment of an Asian-American agency is still to be determined.

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