At the last minute, General Motors' Chevrolet and Major League Baseball canceled a "Silverado Strong" in-stadium promotion during Game 5 of the World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis Monday night due to fears it would strike fans as too similar to the "Boston Strong" relief mantra.
As the official vehicle of MLB, Chevy has been heavily promoting its all-new 2014 Silverado SUV during MLB post-season. The auto maker planned to ask fans to hold up signs that spelled out "Silverado Strong" during the game, according to SportsBusiness Daily. When rehearsal photos hit social-media yesterday afternoon, journalists and fans began to wonder if the effort was going to upset fans -- especially those from Boston.
While it never reached "Twitter firestorm" status, MLB and GM decided to yank the stunt, and today some on Twitter were even giving the partners credit for not going through with it.
Those signs would have tied in with Silverado's "Strong" campaign that's been airing during Fox's and TBS's 2013 MLB Postseason coverage. Chevy initially aired a 3.5-minute long version of Nashville singer Will Hoge's ode to pickup truck owners during MLB All-Star Game coverage this summer. While Leo Burnett handles most of Silverado's work, the launch spot was created by Commonwealth, Detroit. Chevy's been airing cut-down 30-second and 60-second versions of Hoge's anthem during the Fall Classic.
But GM and MLB officials got cold feet at the last minute, deciding Chevy's "Strong" promotion was too similar to the "Boston Strong" mantra that emerged after the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 260 people. Ad agency Hill Holliday led the creation of the One Fund Boston relief effort, that has raised more than $60 million for victims and families
In a statement, Chevy spokeswoman Cristi Vazquez said the "Strong" campaign is meant to honor "hardworking, honest and dependable" men and women.
"Chevy has carried this theme throughout the 2013 MLB Playoffs and the World Series. Chevrolet had planned to continue the campaign tonight through an interactive in-stadium promotion. However, following today's rehearsal we realized there was the possibility that we may offend some of the very fans we were trying to honor, for that reason Chevrolet and MLB decided to cancel the promotion."