One of the biggest concerns among electric-car advocates is GM's ability to create and sustain a smart, coherent, clever, and explanatory marketing campaign for its new 2016 Chevrolet Volt.
The plug-in hybrid with a 50-mile range will arrive on the market in the second half of this year, but Chevy just released its first commercial for the car on YouTube yesterday.
The ad has music--with an inoffensively techno sound--but no voiceover, which is refreshing.
More than half the minute-long ad is simply shots of a deep blue 2016 Volt driving along scenic highways, city streets, and so forth.
2016 Chevrolet Volt
There are shots of the interior, the various displays, and a few very subtle giveaways that it's a different kind of car: the charge-port door on the left-front fender, the lightning bolt through the "V" of the Volt badge on the tailgate.
What the ad doesn't do is say explicitly that the car plugs in, that it can travel 50 miles on electricity and then switch seamlessly to its gasoline engine, and that the passenger experience will likely be smoother and quieter than comparable compact cars that run solely on gasoline.
We surmise that this is just the first in a sequence of ads to give the buying public a heads-up that a new Volt is on the way.
And like many introductory ads, it doesn't necessarily need to give all the nuts-and-bolts details of the car, how it works, and why it's different.
2016 Chevrolet Volt
The main message may be simply that the Volt is a regular car--albeit perhaps one driven by younger, hipper people than the middle Americans shown in Chevy pickup truck ads.
The ad opens with a young guy picking up an Apple iPad and swiping to start the beauty clips of the car that make up its main body.
He's wearing a checked shirt, a close-cropped beard, mildly stylish spectacles, and ... that iPad too.
We just worry that Chevy's trying to position its new Volt as a car for hipster wannabes. Because, hipsters: SO last year.
Stay tuned for more Chevy Volt ads, whenever the Chevy marketing machine decides to dribble them out.