Monday, June 14, 2010

What were they thinking?

A lot has been written about Chevrolet’s boneheaded attempt to kill the word Chevy, including a very good column today by Jon Carroll in the San Francisco Chronicle.

I didn’t think there was much more to say about the memo until tonight I heard a Chevrolet commercial on the radio. The last words were, “Go to”

Hmm, I thought, didn’t whoever wrote that memo even go to his own website?

When I got home I typed into the address bar and hit enter. The words immediately changed to and opened up the Chevrolet site.

In the top navigation bar there was a big link to “EXPERIENCE CHEVY.” So I tried it and found a sub-link, “History and Heritage.” On that page the company displays photos of significant models, innovation and milestones from 1911 to 2008. In 15 of the captions, the car (or the company) is described as a “Chevy.”

Then I went to the search bar – this is still on the Chevrolet site – and typed in “chevy.” Up came a page with RESULTS 1-10 OF ABOUT 13,900 FOR CHEVY.

All righty, then. Didn’t exactly think that one through, did they?

Well, as Jon points out, they’ve now backtracked and said they really like the word Chevy, after all.

But I’m filing that in my “What were they thinking?” file, along with subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, drilling for oil a mile under the Gulf of Mexico with no emergency shutoff plan, and telling your staff you’re going hiking on the Appalachian Trail when you’re really headed to Argentina to see your secret lover.

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