New Chevy commercial proves emotional storytelling is alive and thrilling.

November 16, 2011

Last night, I saw a Chevy commercial that reminded me of what is still possible in advertising. Part of the “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign by agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the TVC reunites an old man with his beloved 1965 Chevy Impala SS, a car he had to sell decades ago.

One day, the story goes, the man’s adult sons decide to find the car for him, by hook or by crook. And they do, eventually, at a dealership in Montreal. The commercial plays like a short documentary, highlighting the family’s history with the car, the memories and meaning it held for their father, and of course the search.

In the delightful long version we experience the hunt for the Chevy, as exciting as finding a needle in a haystack. Upon discovery, they buy the car “over the phone.” After excited planning, the family surprises dad with it at a playground in the park. Surrounded by his entire family, we get to see the exact moment Grandpa sees his old car again. Actually, he hears it first. The rumbling. His heart melts as he puts two and two together.

And so did mine.

This is a special commercial, timeless in its appeal. Yet, it’s also contemporary, using reality filmmaking to dramatize the Internet search for an historical item. Shows about discovering lost treasures in pawnshops and storage lockers are of the moment. Finding dad’s old impala plays right into the zeitgeist while being as old-fashioned as America, baseball and Chevrolet. In my opinion, it’s a homerun.

Like dad’s beloved Impala, the commercial also proves that storytelling in advertising need not be lost to the past.

6 Responses to “New Chevy commercial proves emotional storytelling is alive and thrilling.”

  1. Nice work. An emotional story that connects to the brand. Not easy to do and do well.

  2. At the end of the day, and despite technology, the audience is human – complex, emotional creatures that feel – good advertising makes a connection with that response, and as such , good spots resonate, which makes their effect last considerably longer than the spot itself – lot to be said for resonance -my .02

  3. Bill Dillard said

    This spot caught my eye also. Being a “car guy”, they did a beautiful job of connecting with the emotion of the car you had when you were younger and is considered a classic today.
    But, I’m curious if it’s getting folks into the dealerships to see if they can rekindle the days of Seeing the USA in a Chevrolet. Or, is it just bringing the cynic out… “They don’t build em like that anymore”.
    Either way, I definitely agree with you about this commercial.

    • SRP said

      Bill-
      I had your concern as well but the story is the story and it’s beautifully told.
      Trumps rest.

      • Hey Steffan – agreed. do you know who directed?

      • SRP said

        Shannon-
        Best I could do, from GM.com:

        To capture the moment when Younger was reunited with his car, Chevrolet and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners conspired with Jared and his brother, Derek, and posed as a film crew documenting three generations of an American family. Little did Herb know, his Impala would come rumbling into view at a park where he was playing with his grandchildren. His recognition was instant. This was not a car like his. This was HIS car.

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