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GM Ditches ‘Chevy Runs Deep’ Slogan for ‘Find New Roads’

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., making its first major advertising change since ditching its chief marketing officer last year, said it’s dropping the “Chevy Runs Deep” ad slogan for the new global theme of “Find New Roads.”

The Chevrolet brand’s new tagline, which will debut in an ad campaign in the U.S. this quarter, will be used in more than 140 markets. GM plans 20 new Chevy vehicle introductions worldwide this year, including 13 in the U.S., as part of an aggressive product rollout following the company’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization.

“We obviously were looking for something that was very simple, that was translatable globally,” Alan Batey, interim marketing chief, said today in a telephone interview. GM wanted a slogan “that has enough flexibility,” he said.

GM’s U.S. ad spending declined 9 percent to $1.17 billion during the first three quarters of last year compared with the same period in 2011, according to Kantar Media. The automaker is also making changes to its ad agencies, shifting the work for the redesigned Silverado to Publicis Groupe SA’s Leo Burnett from Commonwealth, which previously had all of Chevy’s business, Batey said.

The “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign didn’t convert interest in the ads into buyer consideration of Chevrolet vehicles, in part because it didn’t feature enough of the brand’s models, Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision’s auto division, said today in a telephone interview.

“‘Chevy Runs Deep’ was a really good idea that didn’t get executed in a way that would take full advantage of the concept behind it,” he said.

“Chevy Runs Deep” was introduced in 2010 as part of then-new Vice President of Marketing Joel Ewanick’s efforts to revitalize the brand coming out of bankruptcy and emphasize the brand’s role in American culture.

GM ousted Ewanick in July over a controversy related to a Chevy sponsorship deal with Manchester United soccer team, people familiar with the matter said last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan, at thiggins21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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