Viridian Joule has won the majority vote of the public to become the official name of the silvery-green color of the Chevy Volt. The lead color has become synonymous with the EV, making appearances at auto shows and on television programs all over the country. Here’s how the winner, David Thomas – from Sanford, Florida, described how he came up with the color:
I looked at the photo of the Volt on the contest web site and thought it looked emerald in color, which led to jewel and then to an alternate yet appropriate play on that word – joule (a unit of electrical energy).
The Oxford American Dictionary defines viridian as
a bluish-green pigment consisting of hydrated chromium hydroxide.
Knowing that makes much more sense now, doesn’t it?
Thomas was among the 27,000 people who submitted the name to GM’s ChevroletVoltage.com website between October 22 and November 5 (2009). More than 3000 people voted for the name. Viridian Joule beat out second-place “environMINT” by about 300 votes. “EV-ergreen” took third place.
As winner of the contest, David Thomas will be the first consumer to test-drive a pre-production Volt.
The GM Authority Take
For any aspiring marketers out there, take note: this is what buzz marketing is all about. The GM enthusiast community is all aflutter about this news. And regardless of whether you personally like the name, the contest was nothing short of a success. By giving consumers the ability to determine the winner, Chevy got people to talk, think, and log onto the Chevy Volt site. Now that’s what I call engagement! But be careful – contests like these have the ability to take an unexpected (and unwanted) turn if not monitored properly: can you see someone (perhaps a competitor) submitting the name “iKrap EV?”
In my opinion, Viridian Joule is an aptly-named color with a perfect set of reasoning behind it!
Click past the break for a high-res gallery of the Volt, GM’s video on the color contest, and GM’s press release!
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Florida Man Wins Chevrolet Volt Paint Color Contest
Consumers choose ‘Viridian Joule’ as winning color name
December 1, 2009
• Consumers determined the winner
• Nearly 3,000 consumers voted for their favorite name
• ‘Viridian Joule’ led all finalists in consumer voting since Nov. 16
• Winning name announced today in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES – David Thomas, 40, of Sanford, Fla., has won Chevrolet’s national contest to name the Volt’s lead paint color and the opportunity to be the first consumer to test-drive a pre-production Volt. Nearly 3,000 people cast their votes at chevroletvoltage.com for Thomas’ “Viridian Joule.” Voting ended at 8 a.m. ET and Chevrolet announced the winner in Los Angeles.
“I looked at the photo of the Volt on the contest web site and thought it looked emerald in color, which led to jewel and then to an alternate yet appropriate play on that word – joule (a unit of electrical energy),” said Thomas.
Although it was a close race among the three finalists throughout the contest, “Viridian Joule” led throughout the Nov. 16 to Dec. 1 voting period. Chevrolet also selected “EV-ergreen,” offered by Devin McQuarrie, 30, of San Jose, Calif., and “environMINT,” entered by Matthew Valbuena, 30, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., as finalists. About 300 votes separated “Viridian Joule” from the second-place entry, “environMINT.”
Thomas traveled to L.A. and joined the two California-based finalists for the announcement.
“This was a fun way to engage Chevrolet and Volt enthusiasts by inviting them into the process and naming our lead color, and the name reflects the innovation of the Volt’s extended-range technology,” said Maria Rohrer, Global Volt and Global Marketing Director at Chevrolet. “When our Volt marketing materials arrive in dealerships, you’ll see “Viridian Joule” as the official name of the silver exterior with an emerald hue.”
Chevrolet narrowed down nearly 13,000 name entries to the three finalists, judging them on originality, creativity and the ability to capture the innovation and spirit of the Volt. About 27,000 people – or half of all visitors to www.chevroletvoltage.com during the Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 entry period – submitted a color name.
A sales representative for an awards and promotions company in the Orlando area, Thomas is originally from Southeast Michigan and has family ties to the auto industry. He submitted several color names, but “Viridian Joule” wasn’t his first entry.
The Chevy Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.
Production for the Volt is expected to begin in late 2010. Pricing has not been announced.