Chevrolet will market the seventh-generation vehicle toward
loyal Corvette owners, but also wants to "conquest" U.S. consumers
who prefer European two-seaters from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and
Audi. It's taking special aim at its biggest rival in the
premium-sports-car segment: Porsche, whose North America creative
business, which has been handled by Cramer-Krasselt, is
"Our No. 1 [target] will be Porsche," said John Fitzpatrick,
Corvette's marketing manager. "We think we have a car that's
Porsche declined to comment on the Corvette marketing plan.
Corvette and Porsche, which have each had an impact on pop
culture far beyond their actual sales, celebrate their 60th
anniversaries this year.
Chevy and Commonwealth don't want to drive consumers to
showrooms until the new Stingray arrives this fall. So they're in
the middle of a three-part, yearlong strategy to launch the first
Corvette deemed hot enough to bear the Stingray name since
Last fall the automaker built interest in Stingray by posting
four videos on YouTube and placing a camouflaged version of the
sports car in the "Gran Turismo 5" video game, said Todd
Christensen, Corvette ad manager.
During phase two, it unveiled the car at the Detroit Auto Show
on Jan. 13. Nearly 167,000 viewers tuned in for a live stream. In
February, Chevy handed the keys to a torch-red Stingray to Super
Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco in New Orleans. (Plans to give the
Stingray a co-starring role in Beyoncé Knowles' halftime
show didn't work out.)
During phase three this fall, Stingray ads will appear in
high-profile entertainment/sports programs and theaters.
The new Stingray will start at $52,000 and could go up to
$80,000 for the fully loaded convertible. The Porsche Boxster,
meanwhile, will range from $50,000 to $100,000, while the 911 will
range from $84,000 to $172,000.
The average Corvette owner is 55 years vs. 48 for Porsche.
David Kiley, editor-in-chief of AOL Autos, thinks the Stingray
could become a "halo" car that attracts more 20-somethings and
women to the rest of Chevy's car and truck lineup "with
aspirational and engaging stories about the new "Vette and Chevy
brand ... [and] creative linkage to Chevy Cruze, Sonic and
Equinox," Mr. Kiley said. (The Stingray won't get its own
tagline but will be part of the "Find New Roads" campaign.)
And no, Chevrolet is not in talks with Beyoncé to star in
Stingray ads. But, said Mr. Fitzpatrick, "we're ready for her order
whenever she wants it."