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So how did Tahoe do? 7 December, 2006

Posted by Jay Ball in marketing, theory, web 2.0.
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When Chevrolet jumped into consumer generated media with its ‘build your own Tahoe ad’ there was a collective gasp of ‘you don’t wanna do that’ from the internet. And yes, pretty soon people put their satirical skills to work with a series of ads highlighting the Tahoe’s woeful green credentials and the general perceived stupidity of anyone considering buying one. As of right now, you can see over 70 of these on YouTube (click here for a look). And, as is the norm, once the initial furore died down, it all went quiet.

Well, Wired has followed up on the story to see how well (or not) the campaign actually worked.

As it turns out, not badly at all.

BY ANY OBJECTIVE MEASURE, the Tahoe Apprentice campaign has to be judged a success. The microsite attracted 629,000 visitors by the time the contest winner, Michael Thrams from nearby Ann Arbor, was announced at the end of April. On average, those visitors spent more than nine minutes on the site, and nearly two-thirds of them went on to visit Chevy.com; for three weeks running, Chevyapprentice.com funneled more people to the Chevy site than either Google or Yahoo did. Once there, many requested info or left a cookie trail to dealers’ sites.

I guess the kind of people who are considering buying a Tahoe really won’t be that worried about its eco-credentials. They are not making a decision between a Tahoe and a Prius after all but probably between Chevy’s option and an even worse gas guzzler from another manufacturer. In that context, the difference between a brand that helps them celebrate their decision and others who remain detached is pretty clear. It’s just a shame that it’s working to put yet more CO2 into the air.

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