1997 Corvette:  Advertising the All New Chevrolet Corvette

1997 Corvette Computer Generated Spy Photo

FOR RELEASE:  March 3, 1997
CONTACT: Chevrolet Communications
Phone: (800) CHEVY-MI or: (810) 492-8841
Fax: (810) 492-8853

Advertising the All New Chevrolet Corvette

Capitalizing on Corvette "Spies"

WARREN, Mich. - Chevrolet is capitalizing on the intense curiosity surrounding its 1997 fifth-generation Corvette by using a spy theme in its launch advertising, which begins March 7.

The secrecy theme runs throughout TV and print ads, including a unique magazine insert cleverly designed to look like an official Chevrolet dossier of secret 1997 Corvette information.

Spearheading the launch campaign are 30- and 60-second television spots that show industrial spies monitoring the performance of a world-class sports car, only to discover that they have been watching the all-new Corvette that the automotive world has anticipated for months.

"A unique car needs a unique ad campaign," said Corvette Brand Manager Dick Almond. "These ads pass that test. They are well-targeted at auto enthusiasts who have been eagerly anticipating the all-new Corvette."

The 60-second spot will begin airing March 7 on network television and in 2,600 movie theaters across the country. Corvette's high-profile media schedule includes such programs as the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and Final Four Championship as well as Academy Awards.

"The theater tie-in is appropriate because we wanted to treat the commercial like a movie trailer -- not as just another ad," said Bill Ludwig, Vice Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency. "To get that feel, we needed the experience of an actual feature-film director. We found that talent in Andrew Davis, whose credits include The Fugitive and Under Siege."

The major print component of the campaign -- the official looking Corvette dossier -- is designed to pique curiosity. Wrapped in a mini manila file folder with "C5 Limited Access" crudely stamped on its cover, the file contains photos of what appear to be internal documents covering the all-new Corvette's powertrain, performance, structure, materials, suspension and electronics, as well as photos of the car itself.

The dossier-insert has been running in March issues of auto enthusiast and business magazines.

Another print ad -- "Announcing the Death of Speculation" -- was written in conjunction with Corvette Vehicle Line Executive David Hill. The two-page ad completes the story of the new Corvette -- from consumer research to Corvette performance. It will run in the May issue of monthly magazines and in April weeklies.

Other print components of the 1997 Corvette launch include a 44-page dealer showroom brochure and a 120-page collector's issue of Corvette Quarterly magazine. The magazine will be distributed through major bookstore chains across the country, and sent to Corvette owners and prospective owners.

Corvette advertising will also be featured on the Internet revealing far more than the teaser information that was released just prior to the Corvette's public debut at the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows in January.

"That public unveiling was broadcast live worldwide on the Internet," said Almond. "Our on-line Corvette coverage of the auto show debut generated 17,000 visitors to the Chevrolet website, triple the normal daily volume, and a rate which we were able to sustain for several days thereafter."