The Happy Grad screams, overcome with excitement.
He has received what he thinks is the best graduation gift ever -- a brand new, yellow Chevrolet Camaro. He jumps in a circle with his friends. He says he will marry his girlfriend.
The entire time, Steve, the happy grad, ignores the white refrigerator neatly complemented with a red bow that is his actual graduation present. Then we meet the real owner of the Camaro, who drives off with his car. Happy Grad becomes Perplexed Grad.
Happy Grad is one of 35 finalists in Chevrolet's Route 66 ad campaign, which is a promotion that will determine a 30-second spot General Motors plans to air in next year's Super Bowl in February. Users can watch the videos submitted by aspiring videographers from nine countries at a special website created for the promotion -- ChevroletRoute66.msn.com.
Chevrolet will ultimately determine which spot will air during the Super Bowl, but the company will give the heaviest consideration to the most-shared video among the 35, said Chevy spokeswoman Melissa Fischer in a phone interview with the International Business Times.
Users who share videos most often and give the most creative answer to the question, If you could drive to any destination in your home country, where would you go? could win $10,000.
With Chevrolet Route 66, we wanted to tap into the talents of creative people from every corner of the Earth to discover our next Super Bowl ad, said Joel Ewanick, GM's vice president and global chief marketing officer. The submissions we received show that people from around the world share many of the same values and how Chevrolet plays a role in helping them along life's road.
Chevy narrowed the list to 35 finalists from 197 entries after it partnered with Mofilm, a global creative community, in June. Users can vote from Dec. 22 through Jan. 25. The idea, Fischer said, was to launch a global competition to market Chevy's global presence in the market.
Gordon Cole, an analyst at P2R Associates in Michigan, said Chevy's Route 66 promotion was a brilliant way to involve users months before the ad airs.
I think it's a really great idea, Cole told IBTimes in a phone interview. Chevy is working hard to reinvent the brand. They're working hard to bring in younger people and expose them to Chevy.
Using social media to get people to choose their viral video, it's brilliant. They're combining traditional advertising in the marquee event for commercials and linking it to a nice viral, social media outreach effort. It targets their audience perfectly.
Chevy's ramping up of its promotion now also ensures both better buildup and a longer shelf life, Cole said. It will keep users engaged leading up to a few weeks before the Super Bowl. Additionally, because of the buzz it's already getting through both mainstream and social media, it will likely be one of the most talked-about ads the morning after.
Cole said Chevy is, figuratively, buying more time -- extending a more-than $3 million 30-second spot into a nearly two-month long event.
They're really maximizing the bang they're getting for their buck, Cole said.
Here's another finalist, called Spy Thriller: