Chevrolet pursues the ‘Canadian dream’

The automaker's new masterbrand platform focuses on diversity and progress to connect with a broader range of drivers.

Chevrolet Canada has launched a new masterbrand platform to position the automaker as a brand that supports every Canadian’ pursuit of their dreams.

The new “Canadian Dream” campaign and platform, developed by Commonwealth//McCann Canada, began on April 24 when unbranded out-of-home, social and video creative showing a diverse range of people and bearing the message “There’s a dream we should all know about” began appearing across Canada.

The second phase of the campaign began last week, with Chevrolet’s branding being revealed on the creative and the launch of a two-minute long video. The video captures the 27-day, cross-country trip a documentary crew made in a Chevrolet Suburban, capturing the stories and diversity of everyday Canadians along the way.

While there are 30- and 60-second cuts of the video, the media buy includes the airing of the full video in broadcast, as well as in theatres, fitness networks and Chevrolet’s own social channels. Carat is handling media.

From here, in addition to the existing out-of-home and social creative, the campaign will be amplified with digital takeovers, display ads, print and point-of-purchase executions. All of the campaign materials are driving to “The Canadian Dream” website, where individual stories featured in the two-minute video are highlighted. The first three days of the campaign generated over 2.6 million views between Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

James Hodge, advertising manager for Chevrolet Canada, says the unbranded teaser portion of the campaign was meant to engage Canadians directly with the message of “The Canadian Dream” and start a conversation about the idea before the brand’s involvement was clear. Now that the automaker has been revealed as the source of the ads, Hodge say the opportunity it has is to move away from narrow, nameplate-focused messaging and instead speak to all Canadians.

“We sought to reconnect with Canadians by showcasing their diversity and their pursuit of progress, because that’s a thing that inspires us as a brand,” Hodge says. “Chevrolet has been in Canada for more than 100 years, and this is an opportunity to reconnect with Canadians that may not know our brand or our brand promise.”

All of the people shown in the anthem video were discovered through social listening exercises, and social listening will continue to be a major part of the campaign going forward. Now that it has a platform to motivate people to talk about their dreams, Chevrolet will be using it to find out what is important to Canadians, what they need to achieve their dreams and telling those stories on a larger scale.

Part of the inspiration for the campaign came from the findings of McCann’s own “Truth About Canadians” study from last year, which revealed that many Canadians strive for a “Canadian dream” that is defined by individual success, caring for others, respect for the system, fairness and respecting individualism. That suggested that a Canadian’s idea of individual success came as a result of collective progress, and making sure no one gets put down or disadvantaged along the way. So while diversity is a major part of the new platform, of people pursuing the things that will fulfill their lives.

“All of our research showed that Canadians are optimists,” Hodge says. “They have a view of their country being diverse and accepting and a place where all people can pursue their dreams. That told us this kind of message would resonate with them.”

Hodge adds that the platform will also allow Chevrolet to highlight the things its company does to support Canadians’ dreams, be it through community partnerships with organizations like ParticipAction and Hockey Canada, producing environmentally friendly vehicles like the Volt or the technological innovations it’s putting into its cars. And while “The Canadian Dream” was developed as a masterbrand campaign, there are also opportunities to highlight individual models.

“Different vehicles help different Canadians achieve different dreams in many different ways,” Hodge says. “One might be an urban individual driving a Volt EV without consuming any fossil fuel, and another might be a business owner living their entrepreneurial aspirations using a Silverado as a mobile office.”