Formal Branding: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala

Posted on November 18, 2013

Ever since Hollywood immortalized the tailcoat and tuxedo as symbols of the good life in the 1930s, marketers have sought to impart their prestige onto a wide range of products and services. This ongoing series highlights some examples.


General Motors has redesigned the Impala to promote it from the rental and fleet market into the realm of affordable luxury vehicles.  Coinciding with the redesign is a comprehensive marketing campaign, “The company is reaching out to a better-educated, younger and more affluent buyer than purchased the late model,” says Marketing Daily. “The media strategy focuses on sports, news, travel and fine dining around a ‘Not Built, But Tailored’ theme.”

One of the campaign’s ads, seen in the November issue of Car and Driver, features the vehicle next to a surprisingly conventional tuxedo.  It’s impressive to see that the advertisers have opted to bypass the usual mainstream impression of formal attire consisting of gimmicky wing-collar shirts, juvenile pre-tied bow ties and pedestrian notched-lapel jackets.  Instead we are treated to a refined turndown collar shirt, self-tied bow tie and swank shawl collar.  The only significant departure from convention is the steel-blue colour of the suit but that hue actually harmonizes nicely with the colour of the depicted vehicle.

Posted in: Popular Culture