Patrick Grieve
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2016 Cruze Commercial Combines Chevy’s Stupid “Real People” Ads with its Stupid Emoji Ads, Is Stupid

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A "Real People, Not Actors" car commercial for the 2016 Chevy Cruze uses emojis

Chevrolet has been playing around with two distinct yet equally eye roll-inducing advertising campaigns for a while now.

The first is the bowtie brand’s “Real People, Not Actors” series of commercials, in which focus groups comprised of (supposedly but not always actually) non-actors are asked leading questions about a car industry they clearly don’t know much about.

The second is an emoji-based marketing campaign that panders shamelessly to Millennials with all-emoji press releases and a truly terrible emoji-themed music video.

Well recently, in the interest of promoting the 2016 Chevy Cruze, the automaker decided to combine the two marketing techniques into one god-awful commercial that features a focus group of “real people” describing their reaction to the new Cruze… using only emojis.

Just take a look, and see if you can avoid ripping your own eyes out like Sam Neill in Event Horizon:

Fortunately for Chevy, none of these “Real People” likened the Cruze to a smiling poop emoji. One focus group member did make a Freudian slip when she compared the compact car to a trash can, but she quickly corrected herself by explaining that she thought it was a basketball net.

Nice save, Leslie.

One young woman with a bad case of vocal fry uses a blushing, winking emoji to describe the Cruze’s design, because she thinks that it is “sexy.” Another young woman mmm-hmmms in agreement.

Really, ladies? I feel like the Cruze’s design is more…

nuetral face emoji

Then when the sandy-haired man tells the focus group that the Cruze carries a starting price of $17,495, focus group member Nick responds with a broken heart emoji. Why? “Because I spent way more on my car,” Nick says sheepishly.

Ok, but did you spend $11,500 more on your car, Nick? Because although the Cruze “starts” at 17 grand, the top-of-the-line model being shown in this commercial is actually $29,035. Had Nick realized that, his emoji might have been more like…

unamused face emoji

And you know what; something about all of these overwhelmingly positive responses to the Chevy Cruze seems a bit “off” to me.

It’s almost as if recruiting attractive young people from the Los Angeles area to star in a television commercial is going to lead to a focus group composed of fame-hungry folks whose primary motivation is delivering a positive soundbite that will guarantee them a spot in the video…

thinking face emoji

That would explain why the Spanish-language version of this ad features a musical artist named Dario Black, who took to YouTube to express his gratitude to Chevrolet for the free media exposure that this commercial afforded him:

Singer Dario Black comments on Chevy Cruze commercial on YouTube

Dario Black may not have his Screen Actors Guild card, but he’s still someone whose interest in being famous almost certainly outweighs his interest in providing objective car reviews.

I guess what I’m saying is that these “Real People, Not Actors” commercials make me want to…

x eyes face emoji

[That’s the “ripping my own eyes out like Sam Neill in Event Horizon” emoji.]

Or, to put my thoughts into words rather than emojis (a novel concept, I know), here are what I see as the primary weaknesses of the “Real People, Not Actors” marketing campaign:

  1. As we’ve proven before, some of these “Real People” actually are actors.
  2. Even some of the “Real People” who are “Not Actors” are still “Real Fame-hungry,” and likely to lavish praise on the Chevy vehicles in the hopes of being featured in the commercials.
  3. Even if they aren’t “Real Fame-hungry,” these “Not Actors” are also “Not Car Experts,” so they’re likely to be dazzled by certain features without understanding the downsides, or how they compare to other brand-new vehicles.
  4. I reject the entire premise that I should care what kind of cars “Real People” like. To paraphrase Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, “Real People” like blood sausage, too. “Real People” are morons.
  5. The dude who stars in all of these videos has a supremely punchable face.

Alright, I’ve said my piece. I think I’m going to go watch Event Horizon while it’s still on Netflix.

  • Patrick GrieveEditor

    Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.