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.

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

Comments (3)
  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Let me disclaim first. I really, really, really want Chevy to succeed.

    Big fan of Chevy.

    You can call this a mini sitcom. Like 30 Rock’s :10 sitcoms. Maybe that was the inspiration. You can call it anything you want. They’re just not funny, well written or even original.

    Sorry, Chevy.

    1. That’s the beauty of social conversation. You have the freedom to write whatever you want. Mary Ellen, perhaps it’s safe to say you don’t like it, but you took the time to write about it, therefore, you gave it credibility and and now it will be on google real-time search with your comment. So, in a sense, you loving Chevy is great, you not liking this campaign and stating that, is also great for Chevy. Me? I don’t care, but I thought I’d point out the obvious, you cared enough to write about it, thus, it cut through the clutter to you, otherwise, you might have said nothing, like when Chevy at one time might have put out a one way message that you not have even noticed.

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