Sometimes, marketers just try too hard. Converged communicators in MAR3023 (Introduction to Marketing) or even PUR3801 (Public Relations Strategy) have learned by now that marketing messages are occasionally intrusive or plain unwelcome. Chevrolet found this out the hard way following Game 7 of the World Series in Major League Baseball. San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner led the team to the championship, with wins in Game 1 and Game 5 and an unforgettable relief appearance in Game 7. As Most Valuable Player of the series, he won a Chevy Colorado truck, presented by General Motors. And that’s where it got awkward.
As CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports, the inevitable promotional presentation by Chevrolet product zone manager Rikk Wilde turned a little bit weird. Rather than simply congratulating Bumgarner on his performance and handing him the keys, Wilde launched into a painfully nervous, full-scale Chevrolet marketing blitz that occupied over a minute on FOX television and left millions of viewers squirming as they waited for him to get off the screen. Wilde’s earnest, choppy, and rather shameless advertising moment has earned him a special nickname in social media circles: “Chevy Guy.” It’s just a guess, but I doubt that Wilde’s pitch actually made a single viewer more likely to buy a Chevrolet soon.
Chevrolet, though, is taking the situation in stride, using the #chevyguy hashtag in a social media campaign highlighting the humor and the undeniable sincerity of Wilde’s pitch.
For those interested in seeing an awkward and seemingly interminable sales pitch, video of the interview is available on YouTube: