The car marque is working with four producers (see box), including photo-enthusiast Kai Man Wong and style guru Patricia Jordan Palacios, to produce short films for its “Captiva Life Test” campaign. Each video features the Captiva being put through a series of different tests including a Frisbee competition pitting the SUV against a dog.
The YouTube stars were given full control to devise their own tests and host them on their channels in an effort to ensure they did not look anything like an advert. Chevrolet is hoping the approach helps it reach what it claims are “difficult” to target “web-savvy, connected individuals” between 30 and 50 years old.
Beate Stumpe, director of brand and marketing for Chevrolet Europe, says: “This is the first ever automotive partnership with YouTube in Europe. It’s a very different approach for a car brand and one we feel it will allow us to resonate with our target audience.
“We want to cultivate a group of brand enthusiasts that would allow us to drive traffic to a central online destination rather than TV. Our target audience is not the type that sits in front of the TV and waits until the next ad is on. There’s an opportunity here is to re-look at the way we launch cars in the future and reach consumers in a more efficient way.”
While brands have worked with YouTube stars in the past, the latest strategy from many is to forge more direct relationships with producers to maximise the chances of viral success. Kellogg’s is currently working with YouTube users to produce branded Krave videos, while Nintendo has been allowing fans to create user-generated videos featuring characters such as Super Mario.
YouTube is looking to capitalise on this trend as more brands start to view it similarly to TV. Last year, it launched the Video Creation Marketplace to connect content creators with marketers looking to create viral buzz.
Stumpe says that because YouTube content creators emerge and grow so quickly it is important to identify at the “sweet spot” in their life cycle and build a relationship that is lasting.
The first wave of the campaign launches next week (17 June) with additional episodes to follow throughout the summer. The videos will be supported by social media and outdoor activity.
The campaign, developed in partnership with Carat, is part of Chevrolet’s “Find New Roads” global campaign, unveiled earlier this year, to establish the brand outside the US.