Patrick Grieve

Chevy Commercial Insists the Malibu is Not as Crappy as You Think [VIDEO]

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The badgeless 2016 Chevy Malibu featured in "The Car You Never Expect" ad

The badgeless 2016 Chevy Malibu featured in “The Car You Never Expect” ad

There’s an interesting marketing strategy sweeping the nation right now: insisting that your product is not quite as terrible as everyone else seems to think it is.

I believe the trend first started when Domino’s admitted that their pizza kind of sucked, and then took to the airwaves to promote their #NewPizza, which sucked demonstrably less. Then McDonald’s followed suit, with an ad in which average folks are told that the “artisanal” buttermilk chicken sandwiches that they just ate out of a food truck were actually from Mickey D’s, and then don’t immediately start vomiting.

Related info: Chevrolet sells milestone ten millionth Malibu 

And now Chevrolet is getting in on the act, with a commercial in which a group of real people are impressed by the sophistication of a badgeless car, and then shocked to discover that this nice vehicle is, of all things, a Chevy!

Take a look:

Personally, as a longtime follower/critic of the “Real People Not Actors” marketing campaign, I though the most exciting part of this ad was that the focus group leader finally reveals his name. It’s John!

Anyway, John shows the gathering of “real people, not actors” a top-of-the-line 2016 Chevy Malibu, but with all of the bowtie logos removed. Now, of all the billions of real people in this world, Chevrolet seems to have found the least car-savvy among us (like, you seriously think that’s a BMW, dude?) Still, these folks know what they like—including the optional Apple CarPlay and the totes lame Teen Driver System—and seem to feel that this is a luxury vehicle worth anywhere between $50,000 and $80,000.

Related info: How Chevy’s Teen Driver System keeps younger drivers safe

So imagine their surprise when the car turns out to be a new Malibu, with a starting price of just $22,500. (Never mind that the fully-loaded model shown actually costs an additional $14,000…)

As cringe-inducing as these ads are for actual car enthusiasts, they seem to be working to change the perceptions of the average customer. Most people probably associate the Malibu with rental car agencies, so highlighting the fact that it’s actually an affordable, comfortable mid-size car with some nice features is probably a good strategy.

After all, there’s no shame in driving a Malibu. Although, you probably should be a bit embarrassed if you ever confuse one for a 5-Series.

  • Patrick GrieveContributor

    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.

  • ChangeThis

    I recently had a chance to test the new Malibu. It was the Premier trim level having the 2.0T / 8 speed and 19″ wheels. It was solid, very quiet, roomy and the performance of the drive-train was excellent. Believe the 0-60 of a shade over 6 seconds. Not bad for a mid size family sedan. In person the Malibu is a very attractive car, great design. It may not be a BMW 5-Series, but then it doesn’t cost $60K either.

    • Stephen Pasta

      They should be glad they manage to sell Malibus to private owners at any price! My uncle has one and its got the same crappy steering wheel as the 2004 HHR, all hard Playskool plastic and everything. GM is out of their mind having the audacity to claim their current offerings are refined and improved over years past while giving cars the parts-bin grab bag interior

  • Thomas Zampelis

    no v6 not for me