Chevy’s Smoke and Mirrors


This ad for Chevy uses a nice image. It’s well designed. It uses a headline without any additional copy. These are all good things.

The big problem here is the disconnect between the image and the ad. It’s an ad for cars. The message is that Chevy offers more models than Toyota or Honda with fuel efficiency of 30 mpg or better.

What does that have to do with trees, branches, or leaves? Why is the sky green?

Are they implying they’re a green company? First of all, they’re not. And second of all, the ad isn’t making any specific claims to that end. The fact that a car gives good gas mileage doesn’t necessarily make it good for the environment.

Let’s examine the claim. Chevy’s website says they produce seven cars with fuel efficiency of 30 mpg or more. We can look at this in a number of different ways.

What if Toyota or Honda each offered six models with that get 30 mpg or more? That would mean that Chevy offered one more car than the others that fit the description. So what? Does anyone really care?

What if the seven cars that Chevy claims get at least 30 mpg are lousy cars, while the other manufacturers’ comparable models are great cars? What if the other manufacturers cars lasted twice as long? What if Chevy’s seven cars all cost twice as much as the others?

When you stop for a minute and think, the whole ad just falls apart.


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