Chevrolet learned the true power of social media following regional zone manager Rikk Wilde’s awkward presentation of the 2015 Colorado to World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. Wilde stumbled over his lines as he nervously delivered his speech, and when it came time to talk about all the high-tech features in the Colorado, he referred to them as “technology and stuff.”
Before the days of Twitter and Facebook, this would be considered a complete marketing failure. However as soon as Wilde’s speech was over, social media was ablaze with clips of the somewhat embarrassing display. Many were lambasting the Chevy exec, but most of the jokes were good-natured. According to Automotive News, one Chevy social media staffer, Jamie Barbour, jumped on the bandwagon early, tweeting this from the ChevyTrucks account at 1:29 a.m.:
“Truck yeah the 2015 #ChevyColorado has awesome #TechnologyAndStuff!”
In embracing the online conversation, Chevrolet was able to leverage the “technology and stuff,” chatter and work it into their marketing campaign. The social media exposure had already garnered them about $5 million in free advertising for the new midsize truck, so they ran with it.
The morning after Wilde’s appearance, Chevrolet U.S. marketing chief Paul Edwards put a plan in place to release three 30-second online videos with #TechnologyAndStuff as their taglines. They bought spots on Jimmy Fallon’s, Jimmy Kimmel’s, David Letterman’s and Seth Meyers’ shows and took out full page ads in USA Today, The New York Times and others. Traffic to the Colorado mini site jumped exponentially in next three days, Chevy says, and the truck hogged 70 percent of online pickup truck conversations.
“I think we all understood the importance of social, but not to the degree that it worked in that situation,” Edwards told AN. “Our lesson is that you need to pay attention to the conversations out there, and to the extent you can, to leverage that in your marketing to draw attention to your brand in the right way.”
Now it’s the Chevrolet marketing team’s job to put this new bit of knowledge to use. If #TechnologyandStuff results in more sold Colorados (and were thinking it will), you can bet the bowtie’s marketing campaigns will become a bit more social media-oriented.