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Mahoney Named New Chevy Global Marketing Chief

Mahoney defied gravity – and recession – at VW and Subaru.

by on Feb.25, 2013

Chevy's new global marketing chief Tim Mahoney.

General Motors is reaching outside its ranks to bring in an outside fireman to help shore up marketing at the big Chevrolet brand – which suffered an unexpected decline in U.S. and global market share last year. Tim Mahoney, who helped both Subaru and Volkswagen defy gravity during the most recession recession, will become Chief Marketing Officer Global Chevrolet and Global GM Marketing Operations Leader, effective April 1.

Mahoney, who gave no sign he was preparing to leave Volkswagen of America, Inc. during appearances at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, has had something of a hot hand in the past five years during a recession-ridden era when car sales have been hurt by weak consumer confidence.

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For the past two years, Mahoney served as VWoA’s executive vice president and chief product and marketing officer, overseeing a wave of clever and creative advertising that finally helped the German automaker overcome years of inertia to chalk up the healthiest sales growth it has experienced in the U.S. market in four decades.

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Chevrolet Inks Deal with Manchester United as it Expands Marketing Efforts Worldwide

“It’s all about efficiencies,” says marketing czar Ewanick.

by on May.31, 2012

"There are no sacred lines in the budget," says GM Marketing Czar Joel Ewanick.

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?  That may have been the automaker’s mantra in the 1950s and ‘60s, but with six of every 10 Chevys now being sold in markets as far afield as Berlin and Beijing more and more of the maker’s marketing effort is focused overseas.

The latest move links Chevrolet with what is generally considered the world’s most popular soccer team – football to most of the world – Manchester United.  The five-year partnership comes only weeks after Chevy’s parent General Motors confirmed it is pulling its ads off the 2013 Super Bowl.

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Calling the tie-up with the British team a “natural synergy,” GM’s global marketing czar Joel Ewanick stressed that “Where they’re strong we want to grow. Where we’re strong they want to grow.”

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Deja Vu: Chevy Gets a New Global Ad Agency…Sorta

Herding cats?

by on Mar.28, 2012

The Commonwealth Global Board includes four automotive advertising veterans (left to right): Washington Olivetto, Jeff Goodby, Prasoon Joshi and Linus Karlsson.

After a six-month review Chevrolet has finally selected a new agency for its global creative work – called Commonwealth — from a new company formed of formerly very competitive ad agency holding companies – Omnicon Group and Interpublic Group – and that’s a first.

Hmm.

The new creative company will be led by executives from San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom Group company which handled Chevy in the U.S. and New York-based McCann Erickson Worldwide, an Interpublic Group company which was the agency of record for Chevy elsewhere in the world. The new company will be located in Detroit replacing the 70, yes 70, agencies currently working on the brand globally.

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This may be a new creative group for the storied brand but it wasn’t the creative product that caused the switch-merger-consolidation, it was the cost savings. Joel Ewanick, GM Vice President and Global CMO noted, “The consolidation is expected to create about $2 billion in savings over the next five years, with a portion used to take advantage of key global marketing opportunities and strengthen the focus on our global Chevrolet brand, and a portion hitting the bottom line.”

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GM Again Shakes Up Ad World

Names Carat its global media planning and buying agency.

by on Jan.24, 2012

The Chevy creative budget is also up for review.

The long-staid world of automotive advertising has been undergoing some seismic shocks in recent years as manufacturers long willing to ride out slumps are now more willing than ever to quickly toss an agency aside if it doesn’t get the results it wants – immediately.

And only a couple years after walking away from long-time agencies, such as Chevrolet’s eight-decade partner Campbell-Ewald, General Motors is again shaking things up by announcing it will turn to Carat to serve as its global media planning and buying agency.

It’s a big catch for Carat, a specialized unit of mega-advertising group Aegis Media.  GM is expected to spend a collective total of $3 billion this year to purchase media to promote products ranging from the new Cadillac XTS premium luxury car to the Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid.

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“We wanted a media agency partner with the sophistication to leverage global marketing opportunities,” said Joel Ewanick, GM vice president and global chief marketing officer. “Carat has an innovative approach to drive significant marketing value and their service model has been tailored to align well with our global and regional brands. They are uniquely positioned to help us form strong media partnerships and drive significant global efficiencies.”

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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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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.

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Marty’s Marketing Minutia — Behind the Chevy Ad Shake-up

Why there's still baseball, apple pie and Chevy, but no CE.

by on Apr.27, 2010

With performer Dinah Shore, Campbell-Ewald created one of the most memorable ad campaigns in automotive history.

Campbell-Ewald has had one helluva long run as the advertising agency of record for the Chevrolet division of General Motors. An impressive 90 years. 4,680 weeks. 32,850 days. Millions of billing hours. 1,000+ current employees. Thousands of talented and semi-talented alums.

These are more than just numbers, they are representative of the dedication, passion and reliability of the company and the people that shaped and helped make the Chevrolet brand the one-time market leader and the biggest generator of bottom line profits for General Motors.

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From personal experience I can say, without fear of contradiction, “it was a great place to work!”  The hours were good, the pay rewarding, benefits reasonable, liberal vacation time, good expense accounts and for the most part the “C-group” – CEO, COB, CAS, CCO, CFO — of executives were real pros.  Of course there were exceptions.

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Chevy Advertising Now Up For Grabs

Campbell-Ewald will now have to bid for each campaign, though it remains official "agency of record."

by on Dec.18, 2009

Campbell-Ewald will have the Chevrolet Silverado ad business, but loses Malibu, Terrain and Equinox, three growing product lines.

Campbell-Ewald will have the Chevrolet Silverado business, but loses Malibu, Terrain and Equinox, three growing product lines.

Though it officially remains the “agency of record,” Detroit ad agency Campbell-Ewald has just been dealt a devastating blow by Chevrolet, the huge automaker with which it has partnered for eight decades.  The decision could cost the agency hundreds of millions of dollars in the next year alone.

Coming out of its bankruptcy, mid-year, GM officials warned they were going to rethink that long-term relationship, which meant CE could lose some, possibly all of an account that has, in peak years, generated business industry insiders estimate at more than $1 billion a year.

After the proverbial “extensive review,” Chevy has notified Campbell-Ewald it will retain the agency of record title, and will continue to handle the giant brand’s retail business, but the most lucrative work, developing, creating and managing Chevrolet’s national advertising campaigns is now up for grabs.

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The competing mega-ad agency Publicis has won the bidding for three of Chevrolet’s most important products, the Malibu sedan, and the Equinox and Traverse crossovers.  Campbell-Ewald will maintain the work on the Silverado and Silverado HD pickups, but in the current market, and looking towards the future, the truck side of the business is looking to steadily decline, experts note.  CE will also do “contextually relevant” work for Chevy’s ad presence during the upcoming Winter Olympics.

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