Chevrolet will return to advertise on ABC's annual Academy Awards telecast next year after a five-year absence. But the General Motors division's return to the Oscars will come with a twist, said Paul Edwards, GM's executive director of global marketing strategy.
Chevrolet will work with the MOFILM creative community to invite aspiring filmmakers to create their own 30- and 60-second-car stories. The global ad contest will be judged by a panel that includes director Spike Lee, producer Jon Landau, Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney and Commonwealth Chief Creative Officer Linus Karlsson.
They'll offer contestants tips and advice, then choose the winning commercial, which is expected air alongside regular Chevy TV spots during the Academy Awards telecast on March 2, 2014. The automaker is expected to discuss the Oscar ad contest during a panel on crowdsourcing at the Cannes Lions advertising festival Wednesday
Over the next few weeks Chevrolet will post a brief laying out the specifics of the contest, said Mr. Edwards. The auto-maker will consider both 30-second and 60-second spots depicting "significant human moments" in Chevy vehicles such as the Cruze, Sonic, Volt, Malibu, Equinox, Impala and Silverado. The contest will run from June through November of this year. The deadline for filmmakers to submit their scripts is Aug. 16.
GM took a similar approach with the humorous "Happy Grad" spot that aired during the 2012 Super Bowl. The company was pleasantly surprised by the insights it received from global consumers, said Mr. Edwards.
"When we do this well, we get films from over 100 countries. It's amazing how much we learn about the brand."
Opening up the brand to aspiring film-makers also works well with Chevrolet's "Find New Roads" marketing effort, he added.
"It's perfect for this kind of initiative," Mr. Edwards said.
This year's Academy Awards hosted by Seth MacFarlane drew 40.3 million viewers, its biggest audience since 2010.