The Art of Storytelling: Decoding Chevy’s Holiday Ads

Chevy Holiday Ads Blog Header

Chevy’s holiday ads have a way of pulling at the heartstrings (fits with their new “Together, Let’s Drive” tagline, right?). For the past three years, they’ve created spots that tell tear-jerking, emotional stories with the backdrop of a vintage car. There was the 1957 Chevy Bel Air Nomad station wagon and the 1966 Chevy Impala, both lovingly restored as a gift to their sentimental owners. An odd choice to show cars broken down in order to sell cars, right? But watch one of these ads, and we dare you to tell us this approach doesn’t work.

This year’s ad, A Holiday to Remember, jumps into the next decade with a 1972 Chevy Suburban and a storyline that is perfectly in keeping with their new tagline. 

The spot shows a woman suffering from dementia and her granddaughter who is inspired to fire up the old family Chevy to take her on a ride with John Denver’s “Sunshine On My Shoulders” playing in the background. They drive by the grandmother’s old haunts — together — and a vision of her high school, where she shared her first kiss with her husband, jogs her memory, just in time for the holiday dinner. As the granddaughter told her, amidst the good and the bad, this was going to be a good day.

Part of Chevrolet’s new marketing strategy is focusing on togetherness and Chevy as the literal vehicle to bring people together. This isn’t about the big flashy moments or the grand adventures. They’re not traveling far and wide to celebrate a huge holiday event. Instead, the ad shows the quiet moments in between. They’re driving just a few blocks, yet they’re connecting the past and present. There’s so much meaning in the small trips. And, because of the insights that AI-driven data reveals on drivers looking at Chevy, including their focus on tolerance, equality and their love of road trips, this new strategy lands squarely with their target audience.

But even beyond the big picture of togetherness at the holidays, this ad will find success by resonating on a deeper level. It strikes a chord with those who are part of an ever-increasing audience of caregivers (one we’ll look at in-depth in 2024). AI-powered data provides the ability to drill down on a niche audience to understand behaviors and motivations, creating authentic connections with consumers, even in emotional moments like this.

We used Resonate’s proprietary neural network, rAI, to identify drivers considering buying a Chevrolet in the next six months, and here’s why this ad is going to have a pointed effect, drawing a few tears and forging connections in the process.

Nearly 40% are Caregivers for a Family Member

40%. That number is incredibly high, and it means they’re 65% more likely than the average American to support someone in their family as a caregiver. Serving as a caregiver is time intensive and emotionally demanding. This is a role that becomes a critical part of their identity, and seeing that reflected back in an ad is powerful. 

Caregivers for family

From the grandfather to the daughter to the granddaughter, each person is involved in the care of the grandmother and trying to find a way to connect. Someone going through the same knows that it’s the little moments that mean the most, and this ad will hit home. 

They’re 81% More Likely to Be an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Drilling down even further, this group is 81% more likely to have experience specifically as a memory caregiver. Those first images of the grandmother looking ahead vacantly, while the grandfather tells his daughter that there are good days and bad, will feel incredibly vivid. They’re tough snippets, but they create an emotional connection with the audience. 

Alzheimers Caregiver

This ad isn’t about simply selling a car. If it was, they wouldn’t feature a 1972 SUV. But it is about forging connection and establishing themselves as a brand that understands its audience. If you’re on the fence about buying a Chevy in the next six months, this spot goes a long way in building positive brand recognition. Chevy gets you — your Chevy could be the backdrop for your memories for decades to come. And it’s incredible to recognize that an AI-powered network could tap into these human emotions and prove out why these ads work — but that’s the power of rAI.

Want to gain deeper, holistic understanding of consumer’s exact life stages, intent, behavior, sentiments more to drive more efficient and effective performance? Resonate’s AI-powered data can provide insights against your own database, giving you a look into how your customers behave, shop and anticipate spending in the months ahead so that you too can create unique and genuine connections with your audience. Contact us today to see it for yourself.

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