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Discussion Starter #1

Campbell-Ewald, the ad agency behind “Like A Rock”, is credited with coming up with “See The USA In Your Chevrolet,” which Advertising Age ranks among the most successful campaigns of the last century.


The 1952 campaign with Dinah Shore was nothing short of brilliant -- catchy, bright, and perfectly in tune with America’s endless supply of optimism.

Chevrolet’s advertising has always leaned on its ties to American culture, unabashedly associating itself with hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie. While patriotism served as a point of pride in the 1950s and 1960s, it later functioned as a retreat from issues of lacking quality, fuel economy, and sophistication.


The agency was also responsible for the “Heartbeat of America” campaign used in the 1980s and early 1990s, which resonated throughout working-class middle America. It seemed as if marketers were suggesting, “If you don’t buy from Chevrolet, you want America’s heart to stop beating.”

And here in the breadbasket, that's how many of us felt.

Heartbeat had the unfortunate burden of having to sell some of Chevrolet’s worst-built vehicles, including the Beretta, Celebrity, Corsica, and Cavalier. Patriotism ran high, but quality ran low during the years of Smith and Stempel.


Undeniably, the campaign worked as more than a few of us in 'working-class' America bought into it. I grew up in a lower-class neighborhood in a medium-sized Illinois town. I remember my dad having a chat with one of our neighbors over why we should buy American. We had a new 1988 Nissan Sentra and they had a new Chevy Beretta, a sleek looking coupe. The Nissan Sentra (which I hated driving) continued to serve our family until it finally died in my teenage hands at 170,000 miles. Within a couple years, the neighbor’s Beretta completely lost all of the paint on the hood and roof. It didn’t stay with their family for much longer after that.


Japanese imports in the 1970s and early 1980s suffered from miserable corrosion, a brutal lack of refinement, and questionable build quality, but offered mechanical dependability and fuel efficiency, two particularly important consumer needs during a period of political and economic instability. As fuel and living costs spiked during the Carter era, GM allowed an entire generation of customers to disappear, followed by entire regions, like California.

After a series of budget cuts, GM fired Campbell-Ewald in 2010.

Most of the cars I’ve owned have been American-made, and I have a fondness for GM products like Corvette, Camaro, the entire Cadillac division, and Chevy/GMC trucks, but Chevrolet’s mass market passenger cars, at least during the three decades that I’ve been alive, have rarely lived up to the promises made by slick marketing.

Today, GM wants to remind us that “Chevy Runs Deep”, reiterating Chevy’s connection to American culture. Indeed, Chevrolet runs deeper than ever thanks to federal bailouts, whether we like it or not.

 

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I can vividly remember the "like a rock" commercials with the Chevy trucks in the early '90s. Nearly 20 years later, those commercials still bring a smile to my face. I love seeing the Silverados get used and abused like trucks should, not babied like most trucks in commercials nowadays.
 

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i miss those kind of commercials, those that showed trucks towing or cars racing cornering zig-zagging etc.


does anyone remember that stupid honda commercial with a civic jumping from building to building? everytime i saw that, i wanted to buy one just to drive it off of a building and try to sue

now they have commercials with hamsters driving cars...seriously, you make cars for hamsters?
 

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i miss those kind of commercials, those that showed trucks towing or cars racing cornering zig-zagging etc.


does anyone remember that stupid honda commercial with a civic jumping from building to building? everytime i saw that, i wanted to buy one just to drive it off of a building and try to sue

now they have commercials with hamsters driving cars...seriously, you make cars for hamsters?
They wanted to use sheep, but hamsters were cheaper!
 

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See the USSR in your armored car.
Siberia is the greatest land of all.
 

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The airhorns in my Corvette play the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme. And they are quite loud!
 

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I actually saw an early '90s Silverado yesterday, with the "heartbeat of america" logo painted into the pin striping at the backs of the front fenders. Seeing that reminded me how popular that slogan actually was back then.
 

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When I was at Best Buy yesterday an older gentleman came in with a really cool looking Heartbeat of America jacket with stars and stripes for sleeves. I wanted it. :lol:

I think that's my favorite Chevy slogan though - and "Chevy Runs Deep" is absolutely terrible.
 

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People should have a measure of patriotism factoring into their purchase whenever possible. Regardless of where they're assembled, the profits from any sale enrich a company based either here in America or in a foreign country. The long term domino effect of buying foreign can be seen in the collapse of great American industries like steel and formerly great cities like Detroit.

Despite the fact that people today would have you believe otherwise, patriotism isn't a dirty word, nor does it mean you're a toothless ******* yahoo. Even when they stink, people will root for the home team in sports because that's what you do. Ask a Jets fan if he's going to start rooting for the Giants because the Jets keep failing to go all the way, and he'll probably deck you. Of those hundreds of thousands of Jets fans however, I'll bet 80% of them have no problem buying a foreign car because they had a problem with an American car 20 years ago, and they'll also bitch about the economy and unemployment while driving their Corolla or Sonata.

Whenever possible, I support American companies with my dollar. I'm proud of this country, I want to see its businesses do well and enrich the private economy, and I can never be called a hypocrite for complaining about the state of affairs because I'm not part of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You're wrongly sequencing cause and effect. Mediocrity and arrogance precede industrial decline -- patriotism, or a lack of it, did not cause GM to go from 50% of us market share to less than 20.

Toyota's profits are down 39 percent due in part to declining us market share. National pride is almost as low as it was during the Carter era.

I promise you, few people younger than 60 are buying Chevy products because they're American. Those who made the mistake of doing so in the 80s are now driving Altimas.
 

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Until the day they wake up and realize Altimas suck balls.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Especially if they got the 2.5.

Friends of mine had a 2.5L 2002 Altima. Nice car except for the cats, alternator, heater core, and... oh yeah... the total engine failure. They managed to unload it for a couple grand. Sucks for newlyweds to have to lose money like that.
 

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Pity Dinah Shore is dead. That woman could sing.
Indeed. She also spoofed her sweet, squeaky clean image playing Melody (Melanie) opposite Carol Burnett as Starlet O'Hara (Scarlett) in The Carol Burnett Show's brilliant send-up of Gone With the Wind:


 
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