306. It's Electrifying. The Volt's First Ads.
Jul 17, 2010 at 02:18PM

GM is set to launch the much anticipated Volt later this year and will likely sell every single one of them without needing to advertise significantly. It's not really a mass production vehicle and won't be until the line extends into other vehicles like the rumored small-cuv and smaller sedan over the next year or two. It's looking more and more likely that it will be accepted warmly, which would help the resurgent automaker.

According to the many sources, GM plans to launch the Volt in a few markets initially, New York City and Austin, TX rumored to among them and have begun to tease the product. I have posted the tease video and print ad that ran recenlty in the New York Times that will give you a taste of what's to come.

Let's Talk about the video first. Being the ultimate tease, the video shows nothing of the vehicle's exterior (or interior for that matter) and instead focuses on the driver experience driving down a beautiful curvy road. This is smart because the driving experience is somewhat unique and the short film feels appropriately optmistic. "Hey, we can keep loving our car just like we always have - it will be just a bit different." A good tone to hit. And since this might just be the best-covered automotive launch in history we've already seen enough of Volt photography. What's not to like is the copywriting.

Status Quo Crumbling Video

I don't mind the line about the status quo crumbling. It's cliche and expected and somehow smaller than what this should really be but it does the job. But after that the copy falls flat into puns and trite expressions. "Breathtaking isn't it?" Meh. And campaign tagline is worse still:  "It's electrifying. And it's coming this winter." Writing is an art of nuance. One word can really make a big difference and style can set the tone of a piece not to mention an entire campaign. The copy on this teaser really feels a few decades too old to be on this piece. I know it's just a teaser. But it's a teaser for the most important product launch for one of our country's most important companies. It deserves better.

The print ad that ran in the New York Times doesn't fare much better in terms of messaging. I'll spare a more detailed review and let you do your own, but let's just say that if you do read the first line - you don't have to read the rest. You know how it's going to go. And it feels way way too boring for such a cool product. Like I said this is just a teaser but I have a lot of expectations for the marketing of this product. And with well-respected agency Goodby, Silversteain & Partners behind the work you can bet they will be pushing for a quality ad product on par with the vehicle. I just wish these market teasers felt more epic, more groundbreaking and more status-quo crumbling instead of just telling me that it is. It will be intersting to see where this all goes and to be honest I wish I were a part of this creative development. It's an important campaign.

The New York Times (they get everything first) Print:

Article originally appeared on Graphicology (http://www.graphicology.com/).
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