Thursday, July 9, 2015

Chevrolet gets A+ for creativity, but that’s about it

By: Cole Buergi, VP of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you haven’t heard, Chevrolet recently sent out an all-emoji news release to announce the upcoming reveal of the newly redesigned Chevrolet Cruze. The release was distributed via social media and asked followers to decode the release and tweet what their interpretation of the release was to #ChevyGoes Emoji. 

Here are the first few paragraphs of the release pulled from Chevy’s website:

 On its face, this is a very clever idea. The Chevy Cruze is a car that is traditionally purchased by younger buyers, the millennials. This group is viewed as very tech savvy and they would appreciate this news release. What’s certain is it’s definitely generated a lot of buzz, mostly in the media. 

What’s not certain is if anyone really knows what the release said. Of course, later in the day following the distribution of the emoji release, Chevy posted a translation to the company’s website. Because of my profession and through personal curiosity, I decided to investigate this potential new way to communicate and enlisted the help of my two highly tech savvy stepdaughters, ages 14 and 11, along with a few of their friends for a less than scientific study. I gave them the emoji news release and asked if they could tell me what it said. 

Keep in mind, these age groups use emojis and a vast array of other social media that older millennials, with the funds and a valid driver’s license to own a car, likely don’t even know about. None of them could decipher the release with real meaning. Yes, they could tell you what most, if not all, of the emojis represented, but none of them could translate it into something that made sense in English. 

Hence, I give Chevrolet an A+ for creating a clever way of getting its announcement noticed but it’s an epic fail if there was a real expectation by Chevy that anyone could reasonably decipher its message.

What are your thoughts? Was this a great idea or a poorly planned gimmick?

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