Chevy Unveils “The Thirty Second Sitcom”

DETROIT — (WWJ) Chevrolet has tapped the director of the hit TV series “The Office” to direct a very different kind of TV commercial.

”We took a step back and really challenged the agency to really look at ways to break through, but in an interesting way,” said Joel Ewanick, GM vice president and Global Chief Marketing Officer.

GM Launches New Chevy Ad Campaign

INTERVIEW: GM Marketing VP Joel Ewanick speaks with WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert

The commercials are more like thirty-second sitcoms, entitled “Under the Blue Arch.” But instead of an office setting, it’s a dealership. So, somewhere weaved into the message is something about the attributes of a vehicle, or a particular deal on a vehicle.

This is a different way to engage customers which, Ewanick says, will also keep their interest, and make the commercial more memorable than others.

“It’s very crowded,” said Ewanick, talking about the field of car company commercials on TV. “It’s very difficult for someone to get their story out when everybody else is doing the same thing. So you end up shouting.”

People who enjoy the commercials are invited to view longer versions online at or

Currently those segments are only a couple of minutes long. Ewanick says they are considering putting together full length online sitcoms, but that depends on the response.

“These are characters who are going to be in this series for the foreseeable future,” he said. “It’s not something that’s going to end.”

The ads are filmed at a Southern California Chevrolet Dealership. But it’s not identified because, Ewanick says, they want it to be location neutral. Long term, they will identify a fictional name for the dealership in a fictional town.

“We want America to get to know these characters and develop a relationship with them.,” he said.

But, Ewanick admits developing a relationship with the characters, and getting a good laugh out of the story line are things that are secondary to the true mission of the campaign.

“At the end of the day we’re trying to get a message out that will sell a car.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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