I know this particular marketing campaign has received a great deal of attention due to the national exposure it received during the World Series and continuing exposure with the NFL.

Don’t get me wrong. Growing up in a rural area (not to far from John Mellencamp) I have cut my fair share of firewood and pitched bails of hay. I even have a close friend who owns a lumber company and still have acquaintances who tend the family farm, hunt on the weekends, have children and go to church. My point being I understand the mindset of the individuals Chevrolet is trying to target, it just isn’t me. Fortunately they do provide other vehicles that cater more to my needs and tastes, but that is not the discussion here.

Here is one of their recent commercials for the Chevy Silverado.

This commercial is clearly aimed at a particular segment of America; what many would consider the ‘red states.’ After a trip around the web, the biggest complaint about this commercial is the depiction of “our philosophy” which is represented by the boyscout. While many people in the target market see this as an organization which instills honor, discipline and teamwork, others see it as Christian-centric, homophobic and to some, racist.

Now consider the following commercial also by Chevy, for the Impala, taken in completely the opposite direction.

So is the organization still homophobic? Not according to their advertising practices, who, unlike Ford, has not pulled advertising based on religious boycotts. Are they still racist? Well, based on the last commercial that may still be subject for debate. But more likely, Chevy like its parent GM is trying to maximize profits by appealing to as many groups as it can.

For those who are questioning the production location of the Silverado and its parts in an era of globalization you can check out the domestic content percentage at cars.com. My father owns a Silverado that was purchased in the early 90’s and still running so quality is not an issue. Companies with commoditized products are consistently put in the place of appealing to the largest number of consumers. Trying to effectively please everyone all the time. When these lines fall along an ideological scale, what should be done? Should we wish customers Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Should we appeal to red states or blue states? Should we appeal to image conscience or price shoppers? Can we do both?

Commercial Culture Series:

Commercial Culture #1 – Pizza Hut $5 Deal
Commercial Culture #2 – GoDaddy.com
Commercial Culture #3 – Silver Bullet vs. King of Beers vs. Napa Valley?

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