Formal Branding: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala

Posted on November 18, 2013

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Ever since Hollywood immortalized the tailcoat and tuxedo as symbols of the good life in the 1930s, marketers have sought to impart their prestige onto a wide range of products and services. This ongoing series highlights some examples.

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General Motors has redesigned the Impala to promote it from the rental and fleet market into the realm of affordable luxury vehicles.  Coinciding with the redesign is a comprehensive marketing campaign, “The company is reaching out to a better-educated, younger and more affluent buyer than purchased the late model,” says Marketing Daily. “The media strategy focuses on sports, news, travel and fine dining around a ‘Not Built, But Tailored’ theme.”

One of the campaign’s ads, seen in the November issue of Car and Driver, features the vehicle next to a surprisingly conventional tuxedo.  It’s impressive to see that the advertisers have opted to bypass the usual mainstream impression of formal attire consisting of gimmicky wing-collar shirts, juvenile pre-tied bow ties and pedestrian notched-lapel jackets.  Instead we are treated to a refined turndown collar shirt, self-tied bow tie and swank shawl collar.  The only significant departure from convention is the steel-blue colour of the suit but that hue actually harmonizes nicely with the colour of the depicted vehicle.

Posted in: Popular Culture