"The problem is , it hasn't been consistent," Mr. Ewanick told
Ad Age sibling publication Automotive News last week. "We need to
find our stride where it's always at that level."
Within days of his arrival in May 2010, Mr. Ewanick awarded the
Chevrolet contract to Goodby. The
contract is worth $600 million, according to Advertising Age.
Goodby was Mr. Ewanick's agency of choice when he led marketing for
Hyundai Motor America and Porsche Cars North America before that
He pulled the work from Publicis Groupe , which weeks earlier
had supplanted Campbell-Ewald, the
Detroit agency that had a 91-year run as Chevy's lead agency,
hatching such iconic campaigns as "Like a Rock" and "American
Asked to grade Goodby nearly one year into the "Chevy Runs Deep"
campaign, Mr. Ewanick said: "I think they're a great agency. I'm
really happy with them in general." But, he said, "To get an A, you
have to be consistent. That's more of C and B work when you can't
find the consistency."
Mr. Ewanick said he has "told them the same thing" in recent
discussions with the agency, which has moved about 125 employees to
an office in Detroit to handle the account. He did not single out
Goodby work that he thinks reflects inconsistency.
A Goodby spokeswoman said Friday that the agency's executives
were unavailable to comment.
Despite Mr. Ewanick's mixed assessment, he said he is generally
pleased with the "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign, though he thinks it
can and will get better.
He ticked off a number of Goodby-made commercials that he
He was particularly proud of one spot dubbed "Spaceship Earth,"
which used shots of windmills and lush forest landscapes to
announce Chevrolet's investments in renewable energy that
eventually will reduce carbon emissions equivalent to "planting a
forest the size of Yellowstone."
He cited a Chevrolet Volt spot titled "Socket," which features a
close-up of a home electrical socket that resembles a distressed
face. "Breathe socket," the voiceover said. "You can do this. Any
socket can." Mr. Ewanick said its simplicity helps dispel confusion
about the Volt's plug-in technology.
And "probably the epitome" of the promise of "Chevy Runs Deep,"
Mr. Ewanick said, was the post-Super Bowl tie-in with the musical
comedy TV show "Glee." The two-minute spot included the Volt,
Camaro convertible and Cruze compact and featured the "Glee" cast
singing "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet," the famous Dinah Shore
jingle from the1950s and '60s.
"It was taking what was old, making it new again, and making it
relevant for a whole new set of people," Mr. Ewanick said. "It
He said he expects to see more contemporary versions of iconic
Modern iterations of Americana-heavy "Like a Rock" from the
1990s and the "American Revolution" campaign of the past decade
"could be used at any time," he said.
"Those are reference points for when people had a really fond
memory for Chevrolet," Mr. Ewanick said. "No reason for us not to
remind them and borrow it."
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Mike Colias is a reporter for Automotive News.