Chevrolet wants to win back America's youth. And they're doing it one ride at a time.
Years ago, GM established a "cradle to grave" marketing strategy--hoping to keep car buyers in their franchise from the first day they drive, to their last (Chevy-to-Caddy). It was a well-known, and oft-immitated strategy which was used for decades.
Toyota, Honda, and Nissan shamelessly, and successfully, used this strategy to woo customers away from American car companies (e.g. Scion-to-Toyota-to-Lexus).
And, Americans started wandering away from GM--and all American car-makes starting sometime in the 1970's.
Now, Chevy is hell-bent on changing that trend.
With the Chevrolet Cruz, Volt, new Camaro, Equinox and new Malibu, Chevy has a stable of models they can be proud of again, and they'd like to introduce the American public to Chevrolet.
So, it is taking to the road and showing up at Stanford, University of Southern California and other west coast universities to deliver chauffered free rides -- not test drives, to campus coeds.
On the ride, GM treats America's youth to $8 worth of fast food at Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King or another fast food restaurant of their choice. Then students are given a Flip Video camera, and asked to compose-record-and post on YouTube, a song about Chevy and their adventures with a Chevy chaperone behind the wheel.
While many college students may not be ready to buy new cars, they are influential in deciding for a wider audience, and by having a positive connection to the Chevrolet brand will influence their own decisions later in life.
Chevy hopes their promotion, dubbed "Drive Through Finals" will get young car buyers thinking differently about American cars (particularly Chevy's of course) and not only consider Toyota/Scions and Mini's and Honda Civics when they buy their first car.