I have to say, as an EV enthusiast, these new ads from Chevy leave an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. Yes, the Prius’s NiCad batteries are older technology –and frankly as a Prius Plug-in owner there are plenty of vectors for attack on its battery system – but the Prius STILL gets better mileage than the Volt once the battery is used up, and the Volt’s battery ain’t that big. If I were making the Volt ad and I felt the need to attach the Prius, I’d point out that it is almost impossible to drive electric only with it where the Volt only uses gas on long trips.
Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer, Tim Mahoney, said those ads have been extremely effective in helping improve Chevrolet’s brand image. Mahoney said Chevrolet’s “shattering perceptions” ads have bumped consumers’ favorable opinion of the brand by 3 percent.
The Leaf ad traps the focus group between floors in dead elevators, leaving them stranded there to emphasize the frustration of being stuck, a major concern for drivers of battery powered cars such as the Leaf. The Prius attack ads points out the car’s engineering is yester-tech.
The Internet ads will be cut down and broadcast on TV, Mahoney said. Volt ads will stress three things: The car’s 53-mile all-electric range, its technology and a combined gasoline and electric driving range of more than 400 miles. Most drivers, Mahoney said, will go between 1,000 and 1,500 miles between tanks of gasoline.
“We’re going to go head-to-head with Leaf and Prius,” Mahoney said. “The ads allow Chevrolet to talk in one way and they allow Chevrolet’s personality to come through. We’re going to be taking more risks,” he said.
In the below commercial, Chevy compares the Leaf’s 80 miles (guess they didn’t hear about the 100+ mile version that will be available in many places before the 2016 Volt) to the Volt’s 400+ with gas. I get it – but why not play up the bits about being electric?
In the end, these commercials are about disparaging other green cars. Chevy should be going after gas guzzlers and talking about why it feels good to drive electric. Boo!