• Oct 27th 2010 at 10:32AM
  • 52

Chevy Volt "Anthem" TV commercial – Click above to watch video after the jump

We've seen all the pieces before – the Chevrolet Volt itself, the Volt's "More Car Than Electric" tagline, the quick edits of a national car commercial – but they've never come together just to sell the American public on General Motor's new halo car. The Volt's first national TV spot, called "Anthem," is heavy on the unbridled driving freedom theme, combining shots of driving past gas stations (Get it? Of course you do) and a Tim Allen voiceover that says:
This isn't a country where plans made at 9 necessarily apply at 5. This is America, man. Home of the highway, last-minute detours and spontaneous acts of freedom. We're wanderers, wayfarers, even nomads. So doesn't it just make sense that we build an electric car that goes far? Really far.
Our take? The spot neatly explains the benefits of the Volt's range-extender technology while taking a subtle dig at pure electric cars like the Nissan Leaf.

The ad (and more in the series) will start airing during Major League Baseball's World Series tonight, but you can check it out right now after the jump.

[Source: General Motors via GM-Volt.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago

      The ad acts like everyone already knows all about BEVs but is holding back to due range anxiety. GM's already in a defensive crouch, begging everyone not to hate the Volt.

      Don't get me wrong, addressing range anxiety is great and in fact key, but how about starting with the basics? Linger for more than a fraction of a second on the process of plugging in in your garage; explain, either with words or at least pictures, how your garage is replacing your gas station. THEN present the extender engine as a bonus afterthought.

      I've begun talking up the Volt to friends and family, most of them relatively savvy college-educated types, and they are all CLUELESS about what the Volt is, what a BEV is, etc. They don't even know enough to have range anxiety.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The purpose of the commercial is to get you into the dealership. Not to try and explain a BEV.
        • 8 Months Ago
        But, Throwback, if you don't know what a BEV is, why would you bother to shop for, let alone buy, a Volt?

        Any old car lets you go long trips at a moment's notice.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ Jake

        --- "the Volt is already more expensive than the first modern production BEV, the Leaf. This makes it so they have to justify the extra cost of the Volt. "

        Spot on Jake. They are pushing hard to justify the extra cost.

        And the only way to justify it... is to emphasize the disadvantages of BEVs.

        But really, is spontaneity really worth an extra $9,000 ???

        And when the PHV Prius comes out... what will GM marketeers come up with next?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Skating is hard-core Dave, it goes all the way up to 11!
        • 8 Months Ago
        And the Russian judge gives Jake a 10! And the British judge gives Joe a 10!.... (sorry, I can never remember if skating goes up to 6 or 7 so I'm working with 10 here LOL)

        You nailed it guys. They are going to do nothing but trying to take sales away from pure BEV's with this campaign and they are going to have some "splaining" to do when the plug in Prius comes out at half the cost.

        Bad MoJo guys.

        "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves ? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here ? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change ?"
        • 8 Months Ago
        You pointed out exactly what I feel is wrong with GM's marketing approach.

        They assume everyone knows all virtues of a BEV, and then try to attack the only weak point: range/infrastructure. This sets their main marketing target as early adopters of BEVs.

        The approach they should have taken is to show why it makes sense to have a plug-in in the first place. For example, why is this better than a normal hybrid? This would be the approach they would have taken if they weren't so stubborn insisting everyone call their car an electric car and everyone who says it is a plug-in hybrid is wrong.

        The approach they are taking might get them an initial group of very devoted buyers, but it doesn't expand the overall market. All they are doing is steal buyers from the BEV market, which from all surveys is relatively small right now. Even worse is by focusing on limitations of BEVs, rather than advantages of a plug-in, they are actively shrinking the number of people willing to try a BEV. The PHEV was supposed appeal to a much wider audience which know nothing about plug-ins, but GM chose to focus on a more narrow BEV market.

        I think part of the reason is they didn't expect the Leaf to be so cheap. The PHEV was supposed to be cheaper given the smaller battery. But as the first production PHEV, the Volt is already more expensive than the first modern production BEV, the Leaf. This makes it so they have to justify the extra cost of the Volt. And the price of the car may mean there is less appeal in the general market, which is why GM is targeting the smaller BEV early adopter market.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is America, We won't even plan for tomorrow, even if it prevents another war.....
      • 8 Months Ago
      Um, has anyone here ever met anyone from any other country. I find it hard to believe that there is anything exceptional about Americans and their spontaneity. If anything, we're a country full of sheeple who rarely deviate from the daily grind and work more hours than many others. We certainly take less vacation than a great many other countries. Christ, we invented the "Play Date". If that doesn't signify a country of status quo, I don't know what does.

      I'd relate better to a family selling their Expedition and piling into the Volt for their annual 2 week interstate vacation, and laughingly having to remind themselves which side of the car the fuel door is on, because they use it so infrequently. Americans are not more spontaneous than any other people. It's lame of us (or at least the dorks that write the commercials for the heartland) to think we're special in that way.

      Maybe a commuter who stops for gas once a month on the way to the out of range job that he volunteers at monthly. (Ok switch that to visiting Grandma for the anti-volunteer self-involved demographic). The point to me of a range extender is the exceptional distance most will rarely travel, not abating anxiety that most potential owners won't have until you remind them over and over again how much of a dice roll it is to EVER go electric.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Well executed vehicle, and not a bad commercial either.
      • 8 Months Ago
      American spirit? What spirit, you mean everyone driving 75 - 80 to get home and sit on their ass to watch their favorite sit-com. The spirit of selling out our country to the middle east because it is easy. I am suppose to feel like Tim Allen does? Fat chance.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Kind of like this "Patriotic" Jeep commercial


        They want to convince us that American auto manufacturing today is a symbol of "quality and craftsmanship"...

        ..Like it was in the early day....

        Total BS... the Japanese and Europeans make make better products, and domestics only compete because of subsidies and import tariffs.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Unfortunately those commercials work. They worked on me for a long time. i think Jeep had a vehicle called the Patriot? The only thing new about the ICE cars is they are all getting 14 inch touch screens like EV's.
        GM is doing the same thing they did with the EV1, they are doing everything they can to not make the rest of their inventory look horrible. They noticed Toyota got away with selling a hybrid righ next to their pollution juice supporting machines for the last ten years and they want the same for GM. We will see how Nissan does it, selling a EV right next to the middle east pollution juice machines. I don't think Ghosen cares if it take away sales from Nissans ICE inventory, he is fine with people buying a Leaf instead.
      Skylar Toups
      • 8 Months Ago
      The rear end looks so odd.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Skylar Toups
        That's what she said.
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM marketing is concentrating too much on Leaf. They are not going to convert many Leaf people - who already know the range limitation.

      How about trying to get the gas guzzler crowd. That would be too difficult .. ?

      The Volt people like to say it is a "luxury" vehicle - so why not go after the BMW and Lexus owners ...
        • 8 Months Ago
        Yeah, they don't know what they are aiming at. Much of the Leaf audience wants pure electric. They'll get some of them. But why aim at the EV fans at all? They are already actively looking for the information.

        And aiming at the luxury segment is difficult . . . it just is not a luxury car. It is small and pretty standard. I guess they could tout the silent running.

        I think the Volt needs higher gas prices to sell.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This ad strikes at the reason that I would probably never buy a Leaf, but may buy something like a Volt. I work only 2 miles from my home, so the Leaf's range is more than sufficient. I often bike to work. That is irrelevant because I never know what the day will hold. I often need to make a businees trip that is 100 miles away. I may want to load up my windsurfing equipment and hit my favorite spot that is 30 miles away. I could get there and back in a Leaf so long as the battery was close to full to start out. Some days, I just have a lot of random errands to run. So, if I drove a Volt, I would only burn gas when something unexpected happened, which is just often enough to justify the existence of the range extender.

      Unfortunately, I will never buy a Volt for the same reason that I did not recently buy a Mustang. It only has 4 seat belts. I have 3 kids and 1 wife and therefore need at least 5 seats. I recently bought a new car. I was looking for some product that would enable me to add a center seat belt so that I could get a V6 Mustang, but eventually went with a Versa, which is not nearly as cool, but was a lot cheaper and should serve me well for the next decade. Our minivan is a gas guzzler, and will likely need replacement in 4-5 years. When I do replace it, I hope that there is a ER-EV minivan on the market, and that higher volume production lowers the price of this technology a bit.
        • 8 Months Ago
        When you replace your minivan, do what I did and get a flex-fuel Chrysler Town & Country. (Or a Dodge Grand Caravan). Chrysler is -the- minivan company anyway, plus you get the ability to fill up on renewable, cleaner-burning alternative fuel that breaks the OPEC monopoly and doesn't fund terror.

        As for a 5 seat Mustang style car, the closest alternative fuel compatible car I can think of, coincidentally, is also from Chrysler: the Dodge Avenger. Visit http://www.dodge.com/en/2010/avenger/gallery/ and click on the bottom picture in the gallery to see the rear seat layout. You'll have to make sure to get a 2009 or earlier model though, since unfortunately they dropped the 2.7 liter V6 flex-fuel engine for the 2010 Avenger. I'm not sure where you are, but one is available with only 93 miles on it at AutoTrader - see #AT-F07989A or click on http://tinyurl.com/3a373fs.

        To find an E85 station near you, visit http://e85refueling.com/. Even if there's no station nearby, buying an FFV helps add to the critical mass of FFVs or keep up demand for them, and hastens the day when one does arrive near you. And you're more likely to be able to take advantage of the capability if/when you go on long trips.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Good point about flex fuel. Even if you don't like the government subsidies, you have to like not sending your money to OPEC. Unfortunately, in Florida, E85 is a very rare sight.

        About the Avenger: I think you just committed blasphemy even to put it into the same thought as the Mustang. For 1, it's front wheel drive, and 2 it's just horrible, bad even for Mopar standards. The Challenger is comparable. With the exception of the number of seatbelts, it's totally inferior, but comparable. I did consider it, but I just have too much bad experience with Chysler products. My personal experience aside, the quality and longevity has always been so consistantly low. It's a shame, since their designs are pretty nice. Chrysler really needs to making sweeping changes in thier philosophies to turn themselves around.

        Eventually, I am hoping to buy one of the following:
        * Voltec powered minivan
        * Electric Gran C-Max
        * Prius MPV
        * Maxda5 with thier upcoming sky engine.
        * Maybe a EV minivan, perhaps a derivative of the Leaf. I guess I could always take my Versa if I need to go somewhere far.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "So doesn't it just make sense that we build an electric car that goes far? Really far."

      Too bad it's not an electric car. It's a plug-in hybrid that only gets 33 MPG when running on gasoline.
      • 8 Months Ago
      In other words, GM can talk about the environment, the economy, national security, all kinds of great reasons to go oil-free for most driving.

      ANY ordinary cheap ICE car gives you spontaneity and the chance to take long trips. That doesn't make the Volt unique.
        • 8 Months Ago
        This would commercial (quote: "goes far, goes really far") would be better suited to a diesel.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't know why everyone is on GM for attacking the Leaf. They didn't even mention it.

      You're projecting. The Leaf has a clear weakness (you can't use it for everything) but it's a completely different car. GM very rarely makes niche vehicles (mostly because they do not turn a profit) so from the get go they knew they had to make it usable in all conditions.

      It's a huge issue that GM HAS to point out because different consumers will want the Volt compared to the Leaf. If you already have a car, but you want something cheaper for commuting, you'd get a Leaf. If you had a normal commute but no other vehicles, then you'd get a Volt. It's not about bashing. The cars do completely different things, and it's not wrong for the manufacturers to point that out.
        • 8 Months Ago
        No, the huge issue that GM fails to point out is why a plug-in car is so awesome. Were they to do this, a tiny fraction of the car-buying public will say "Wow, a world-beating plug-in hybrid car from Chevy that meets my needs". GM has NO COMPETITORS right now for this car! Therefore, most of that tiny fraction of 12,000,000 annual car buyers will buy the first GM car they've ever purchased in their lives, and it's still a hell of a lot bigger group than EV die-hards dithering between a Leaf and a Volt.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The article said that GM is attacking pure electric cars... LIKE the Leaf.

        But since the Leaf is going to be the only production model of any significance right now... yes... it IS a direct attack.
        • 8 Months Ago
        From a marketing standpoint, of course they're attacking the Leaf (believe me, GM won't turn down any customers who "already have a car, but want something cheaper for commuting").

        They're clever enough to do it without giving Nissan any free publicity, with an added unsubtle-but-probably-effective appeal to patriotism. They need to teleport their current marketing department back to 1998 and put them on the EV1.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Wow, some sanity. Thanks
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM stalled development of the all electric car the best it could, when it bought control of the exclusive worldwide patent rights to NiMH from its inventor, Ovonics. The rights were vested in a company called GM-Ovonics. GM then on Oct. 10, 2000 sold control of GM-Ovonics to Texaco who merged with Chevron on October 16 of the same year, taking control of the NiMH batteries under Chevron-Ovonics Battery Systems that has sole patent rights to the superior battery until the year 2014 Pretty slick GM, selling rights to superior battery technology to an oil company, and then reinventing an electric car that relies on the oil, gas, service and parts dependant internal combustion engine.
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