Movie Star, Car Buff Tim Allen New Voice for Chevy

GM has been searching for a new approach for all of its brands since emerging from bankruptcy last year, and its volume brand Chevy has been a top priority.

Ward's Staff

September 3, 2010

2 Min Read
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Actor and celebrated “car guy” Tim Allen puts more power behind Chevrolet marketing, becoming the new voice behind the bow-tie brand’s advertising messages.

Known for his role as Buzz Lightyear’s voice in the movie trilogy “Toy Story” and as the accident-prone father on television’s “Home Improvement,” where as host of a do-it-yourself program his quest for “more power” always would end with a pratfall, Allen’s work debuts this fall with spots for the all-new Chevy Cruze compact car.

Joel Ewanick, vice president-U.S. marketing at General Motors Co., says Allen possesses “the right combination of a recognizable voice with the credibility, likeability and humor that will connect with viewers.

“His passion for all things cars makes him the perfect match for the Chevrolet brand,” Ewanick says in a statement.

Allen has an extensive car collection, including a number of Chevy products, and roots in the auto-centric state of Michigan.

Ewanick, recruited to GM in March after stints at Nissan North America Inc. and Hyundai Motor America to inject fresh blood into the auto maker’s marketing unit, made the call to hire Allen as Chevy’s new pitchman.

The four 30-second spots also mark some of the first work from Chevy’s new advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners – hired earlier this year by Ewanick in a rapid shuffling of the account from Publicis Worldwide and longtime Chevy ad group Campbell-Ewald.

Campbell-Ewald now assists Chevy marketing with retail and sponsorship work.

Newly created Chevy Cruze advertising to feature Tim Allen’s voice.

GM has been searching for a new approach for all of its brands since emerging from bankruptcy last year, and as its volume brand Chevy has been a top priority. Last month, Ewanick hired his former Hyundai colleague Chris Perry to lead Chevy marketing, sending Jim Campbell over to performance-product marketing.

Chevy sales, which comprise nearly 70% of GM deliveries in a given month, have been flat this year, and the pivotal launches of Cruze and the Volt extended-range electric vehicle arrive in the coming weeks.

The spots with Allen will lean on early media testimonials for the Cruze and comparisons to its key competitors, GM says. Chevy will follow the ads with additional television spots featuring a large social media component, product integration in relevant shows and events, as well as advertising specific to the features and benefits of the Cruze, the auto maker says.

Earlier this year, Chevy dumped former professional football star and television commentator Howie Long as its primary spokesman.

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