The small SUV market is one of the hottest, most competitive areas in the automotive industry and Chevy needed to launch its new entry. The Chevy Trailblazer is a stylish, small SUV tailor-made to speak to a younger and more diverse demographic. To do this, Chevy offered the Trailblazer in two unique trims that appealed to two very different lifestyles. The ACTIV trim had design elements built for people who like to kayak, hike and spend the night under the stars, while the RS was all about city life, built for the expressive, fashionable and trendy. Either way, both groups are extremely active on social media, known for rapidly consuming and creating large amounts of content. So, we had to find a way to disrupt their feed and leave an impression.
Our target is known to publish every weekday and weekend adventure they take with their friends and family. Posting on social media is not something that takes them out of the moment during an adventure, but is a natural part of the adventure. Knowing this, our strategy was to demonstrate the variety of roles Trailblazer could play in your social lifestyle. Our challenge was to make sure this audience took notice.
We decided the best way to grab viewer attention, was to make it look like the Trailblazer was driving vertically up their feed and horizontally across their Stories, disrupting the posts along the way. To create this optical illusion, we used CGI to establish an environment that blended the real world with the social world. This allowed us to control the camera by starting with a Trailblazer driving on a road, then panning to a bird’s eye view that allowed us to break the plane and begin traveling through a series of faux posts.
The next step was to tailor every execution to match the personality of each vehicle trim with the lifestyle of our target. For the ACTIV trim, we saw the vehicle drive through posts that aligned with the outdoor lifestyle, using the faux post copy and visuals to help convey our story. The RS trim drove through posts that mimicked the lifestyle of city dwellers. We made sure each post looked authentic to the platform and audience lifestyle. And added a touch of animation when the Trailblazer drove through (i.e. leaving tire tracks on the foam of a cup of tea) to ensure the viewer noticed each scene.
And lastly, each execution needed to visually appear like the platform it was being published on – Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter and Pinterest. As an added touch with a mobile-first approach, we designed all ACTIV videos using light mode to compliment the outdoors and dark mode for the RS trim, because it lives for city streets. In total, eight unique videos were created across all platforms (four for each trim).
This was much more than an optical illusion; it was a painstaking labor that represented what the Trailblazer was about while literally showing where it could take the driver. It was artistic, engaging, fun to watch and the results proved that it worked.
With five million paid impressions this content captured attention across the board on all social media channels with strong completion rates. On Pinterest, the content performed twice as high as standard video norms. And on Instagram the ads performed 141% higher than the average Chevy video ad.
In the end, this was not a one-size-fits-all approach, it was a series of tailor-made social videos that catered directly to the audiences we were targeting. As a result, it caught their attention and educated them about the new product. So, while the market for small SUVs may be a crowded segment, we proved that if you create a story that breaks the mold on how the content is delivered, you can then break through the crowd and have your message heard.
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