Patrick Grieve

Chevy Stumps Some Dummies With a Math Problem in 2016 Equinox Ad

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

New 2016 Chevy Equinox "Real People Not Actors" commercial "Math Problem"

Chevy has released another ad in its “Real People, Not Actors” marketing campaign (which actually does feature some actors), once again with the apparent goal of publicly shaming some dumb people.

In this new commercial for the 2016 Equinox, a focus group of ordinary people is asked to answer a math problem:

Embarrassing. After being exposed as dullards, how will these people go back to their normal lives? How can that teacher command respect from her students? How can that electrical engineer be trusted by his colleagues? How can that real estate finance analyst go back to doing whatever it is that real estate finance analysts do?

All right, time to give these dummies a crash course in remedial mathematics:

If Car A is traveling 52 miles per hour, and there are 5,280 feet in a mile, that means it is traveling 274,560 feet per hour. There are sixty minutes in an hour, meaning he’s going 4,576 feet per minute, and there are sixty seconds in a minute, meaning he’s going 76.27 feet per second.

Using the same process, we can determine that Car B is traveling at 39.6 feet per second. Now, subtract Car B’s speed from Car A’s speed (76.27−39.6) and you get a difference of 36.67 feet per second. Divide the distance between the two cars by the speed differential (170.2 feet/36.67 feet per second) and you get your answer: 4.64 seconds.


Okay, so I’ll admit, I couldn’t have done that without a calculator. (Or, probably, without copying the explanation provided by one of the YouTube commenters…)

But that guy who guessed that Car A and Car B would “never” collide? Yeah, he should know better. Even if you can’t do long division, it isn’t exactly rocket surgery to figure out that a car traveling faster than the car in front of it will eventually catch up to the slower car.

New 2016 Chevy Equinox "Real People Not Actors" commercial "Math Problem"

“Uh, never”? This is not a trick question, James

Of course, the point of the ad is that the 2016 Chevy Equinox is equipped with Forward Collision Alert, which warns you when you’re approaching a vehicle too quickly.

That’s right, gone are the days of pulling out your TI-83 while driving and quickly calculating how soon you will collide with the car directly in front of you—the new Equinox does the math for you! Mathematically-challenged chem teachers and electrical engineers, take heart.