Chevy's Aveo to Get Heavy Play on Web for Redone Model

Half of Ad Budget to Go Online to Chase Internet-Loving Target Buyers

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DETROIT ( -- Chevrolet will spend nearly half of its advertising launch budget on the web to back the redone Aveo subcompact sedan, the General Motors Corp. brand said today.
Chevrolet is spending big on the web for the launch of the redone '07 Aveo model.
Chevrolet is spending big on the web for the launch of the redone '07 Aveo model.

The main target for the Aveo, adults aged 18 to 34, spends an average two hours daily online, said Ed Peper, general manager of Chevrolet. "We want to be where they are."

Mum on launch details
The marketer declined to reveal details of the launch campaign, which breaks in mid-September, although Mr. Peper said the ads "will point out that we have the big little car."

Chevrolet used the same theme two-and-a-half years ago to launch the Aveo nameplate, though with a decidedly different media approach -- the carmaker bought time on the Super Bowl. In that spot, from Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., tall basketball players appeared short when seated inside the Aveo, as a way to show the little car's roominess.

TV will account for roughly 35% of Aveo's launch budget, which will also include print buys and guerilla-marketing street teams, said Cheryl Catton, car marketing director of Chevrolet.

Chevrolet spent $25.7 million in measured media for Aveo's launch in 2004; $7.4 million last year; and less than $14,000 in the first quarter this year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Radical Media
Campbell-Ewald brought in media and entertainment shop Radical Media to help with the upcoming launch, Chevrolet said.

Carmakers are increasingly moving to new media, including online and video on demand, to better target the 5 million Americans in the market for a new vehicle at any time, said Mitch Lowe, CEO, Jumpstart Automotive Media, San Francisco. He said TV advertising will remain important to car companies for branding. "But what they are realizing now is what's critically important -- to reach the in-market intender" carmakers have to spend online.

The average age of Aveo owners is 45, but Ms. Catton said that age represents parents who bought the subcompact for their children. Chevrolet said it has sold more than 150,000 Aveos in the U.S. since its debut. More than half those buyers were not previous GM-brand owners, Mr. Peper said.

He said the car competes against three new models from Japanese transplants -- the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

The redone 2007-model Aveo subcompact starts at $9,995 and tops at near $15,000 when fully loaded.
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