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Chevy Sonic: Boon or Bust?

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On: Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 1:50PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chevy Sonic: Boon or Bust?

After taking a day to actually take in the game, the football fan in me managed to release my unending analysis of Super Bowl XLVI and the automotive enthusiast in me began to analyze some of the car related details of the big game. After I got over the mad jealousy of watching Eli Manning, who not too long ago received a $96 million contract, get a free (?!), yes free, Corvette Grand Sport convertible for being the Most Valuable Player on the Super Bowl winning team (talk about a pretty good day huh?), I began to evaluate the other interesting move Chevy decided to spend their money on.  

And a lot of money it was. Going with the average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot this year's Super Bowl was fetching for commercials, and Chevy spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-7 million to advertise its relatively new Sonic. We got to the see the Sonic do some pretty amazing things, did we not? Fly out of an airplane, bungee jump, kick flip, create music video, and a myriad of other things we were advised not to try at home. But, for all that money, what did we as consumers learn about the Sonic? Other than the fact that it exists?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Now, one could argue that just getting the name out to so many people is enough, but honestly if it were my five million, I might have thought things over a little further. After the economic bust we all felt back in 2008, the silver lining seemed to be that the country began to understand what true value really was again. That a dollar earned does not always need to mean two dollars to spend, that maybe, just maybe, we should start looking for things that last to get the most out of our money. But it seems that Chevy has forgotten all of those lessons we all began learning again not four full years ago and they seem to think that flashy, silly, attention grabbing nonsense will sell them cars. Admittedly, will some young 17 year old want to buy a Sonic now that he has seen it skydive? Sure, there will be a few.

But, overall, you know what would have sold a ton more cars? How about an ad that lasted all of ten seconds that said, "We guarantee the alternator in the new Sonic lasts 100,000 miles or we will replace it for free no questions asked". Done. Or better yet, "We promise that with regular scheduled maintenance your new Sonic will last 200,000 miles without so much as a hiccup." Things like that would have sold plenty of cars too, and probably more than a Sonic hitting a keyboard at 50 mph. Sure, some would argue that replacing tons of alternators or water pumps, or fuel pumps or whatever part you want to use in this hypothetical would cost Chevy millions, but then, how much did 60 seconds of advertising time, production cost of that crazy commercial, and the number of Sonics they went though in what were sure to be more than a couple out takes cost Chevy just to get a name out there?

You are better than this Chevy. Instead of putting out a wacky, zany useless commercial that really didn't do you any favors, why not take a page out of Toyota's book? Think about it, by rights Toyota should be at the bottom of the sales heap for all of the recalls it has had to issue over the past three years, yet because in the ten to twenty years prior to those problems, Toyota had created a reputation that was so far and above every one of its competitors, it has managed to weather the storm and stay competitive despite spotting its competitors several points. There are Camrys out there posting 700,000 miles on their odometers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwii7m_nUAI), which is why they continue to sell so well. But you wouldn't know that because you're too busy throwing you cars out of an airplane. Come on Chevy -- people are over the gimmicks, it’s bad enough you'll be wasting people's money if the Sonic proves to be a bust, but at least have the decency not to waste their time too.



Stephy21 | 10:41AM (Fri, Feb 10, 2012)

I completely agree with this article their ad was stupid and didn't say anything about the car people dont care what it can do they wanna know specs, pricing, and warranty's not how some famous person did a kick flip or how it went ski diving. Any one in their right mind would never do that t a car. So Chevy get your act together.


Sami18 | 12:25PM (Fri, Feb 10, 2012)

You nailed it! I think Chevy should be more worried about their cars to sell then making stupid commercials like this one, the commercial was good but not what i expected from Chevy.

  • Sami18

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