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Chevy’s Revolving Door Claims Another Ad Agency

New CMO Joel Ewanick switches agencies...again.

by on May.21, 2010

They’re out. And they’re in. No, they’re out now, too. And they’re in!

New Chevy ad agency Goodby Silverstein will now have to sell sheet metal, not just vitamin D.

If Joel Ewanick’s departure from Hyundai – spending a brief minute and a half at Nissan before becoming  CMO of General Motors — made waves, then his latest move is setting off a tsunami.  No, Ewanick seems entrenched at GM, but one of his first moves has been to swing the ax at Publicis Worldwide – which was the Chevrolet agency of record only about as long as Ewanick was at Nissan.

Instead, he has appointed Goodby Silverstein Partners to handle the mega million dollar Chevy account, a decision of epic proportions.

The fact that GM CEO Ed Whitacre relinquished some of his very tight marketing managerial reins to Ewanick amounts to more than a transfer of plenipotentiary powers to a proven automotive marketing executive: it evidences a genuine concern for the demands of proven professional marketing counsel to supervise the plans and programs for GM’s largest and most important brand.

Ewanick’s marketing chops have been well detailed, documented and discussed (Click Here for more on his move to GM and background at Hyundai), but how much has been revealed about the new agency over the past day or so? Not much … until now. Following is a bit of information gathered from their website goodbysilverstein.com and various industry publications:

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GS&P History

The new Chevy agency was incorporated in 1983 as Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein by co-founders Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein who had worked together at Ogilvy and Mather in San Fran with then freelancer Andy Berlin. The agency started with limited funding yet landed prestigious accounts. In 1992 Omnicom, Inc. purchased the agency, in 1993 Berline left the agency and in 1994 the name was changed to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and just ten years later in 2004 Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein were inducted in The One Club Hall of Fame for Advertisers.

GS&P Perspectives:

“We believe that this is a time of great upheaval in the way brands are created, and our company is evolving to anticipate and take best advantage of the new environment around us. The old model, in which advertisers address captive audiences with unavoidable messages, is a thing of the past. To be successful in a faster, more voluntary world, we have to engage our audiences, creating messages, often in unexpected places, that people welcome and even seek out. This kind of communication will have elements of entertainment and avant-garde media thinking not presently associated with advertising.”

GS&P Credo:

The Goodby, Silverstein & Partners credo “Art Serving Capitalism” espouses the philosophy that art is the secret weapon of great business—or in the agency’s own words, “Business is at its best when it’s done with the sense of the craft and surprise associated with art.”

GS&P Clients:

CA Fluid Milk Processors • Hewlett-Packard • Dreyer’s Inc. • Netflix • Adobe • Häagen-Dazs • Comcast • Doritos/Frito-Lay • Foster Farms • Sprint • Commonwealth Bank of Australia • National Basketball Association • Cheetos/Frito-Lay • Propel/Pepsi-Co • Tostitos/Frito-Lay • Nintendo • Dips/Frito-Lay • Denny’s • Sierra Mist/Pepsi-Co • Dropps • Kayak • eBay • Dickies • Lipton/Pepsi-Co • Yahoo • Fritos/Frito-Lay • Rold Gold/Frito-Lay • Logitech • AIDES

GS&P Creative

Probably best known for its “Got Milk” campaign for the California Fluid Milk Producers Association, the agency is one of the most awarded creative agencies in the world, having been named “Agency of the Decade” by Adweek Magazine in 2009, and repeatedly cited “Agency of the Year” by advertising industry trade publications including AdWeek, Advertising Age, Creativity and Boards. The agency is often credited with being the first blue-chip national agency to successfully navigate the transition from print and television creative to digital, which culminated in being named “Digital Agency of the Year” by Advertising Age magazine in 2006 and the One Club in 2009.

GS&P Auto Experience

The agency has previously done work for Isuzu, Saturn and most recently Hyundai. To see the agency’s case study of Hyundai click to http://www.goodbysilverstein.com/work/pdfs/Hyundai-GSP-Case-Study.pdf

For a video tour of the agency click to http://www.goodbysilverstein.com/#/highlights?type=tour

GS&P Management

Jeff Goodby, Co-chairman and creative director

Rich Silverstein, Co-chairman and creative director

720 California Street

San Francisco, CA

Phone 415.392.0669

And most importantly …

GS&P Job Seekers

Resumes and examples to jobs@gspsf.com

It will be interesting to see if Ewanick and GS&P lightning can strike twice, won’t it? We are all waiting to see … and very soon we’ve been told.

Oh, and a possible postscript: there are some signs that Campbell-Ewald, long Chevy’s agency of record, might not be totally and completely out of the loop.  Could CE find a new, if severely limited, role with Chevy under Ewanick?  Stay tuned for more on that, as well.

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