Chevy’s Bold Move to Breathe New Life into the Iconic Malibu

White 2019 Chevy Malibu and Malibu rum, mangos and glass in front of sunset

Detroit, MI – This past week, General Motors hosted representatives from the automotive press corps to announce a number of “fresh and innovative marketing campaigns, designed to embrace the evolving expectations of today’s diverse consumer base”. Seemingly a fancy way of saying, “We’re ready to try just about anything”, the new agenda appears to be the brain-child of Josh Billings, the so-called “Marketing Wunderkind” who has been turning GM’s creative division on its head over the past four months. Beginning with the 2019 Chevy Malibu, 22-year old Billings had been tasked with reinvigorating existing models in a manner that would prove appealing to Millennials, Generation Y & Z’ers. With younger consumers making up an ever-growing percentage of consumer market share, GM has asserted themselves as a domestic front-runner in courting their revolutionary sensibilities. From the standardization of in-cabin technologies to fun and funky styling, the automotive giant knew that their offerings were the perfect testing ground for Billings. Whether or not that sentiment was mutual would be determined by Billings’ enthusiasm, and the campaigns to follow.

GM CEO Mary Barra opened the conference, sharing that she was “excited for this new chapter in Chevy branding” and that she had “heard some really exciting buzz about the project”. She then introduced Billing who, speaking of enthusiasm, leapt to the podium energetically.

And while Billings appeared clearly out of breath (his slightly undersized shirt heaving as the result of a recent smoking binge) his expressive face remained lit with the joy of a thousand Jews. Admittedly, that only equates to a soft 4 (on a scale of 1 to 10) but his energy was nonetheless intoxicating.

“It’s a new day for the Chevy Malibu!” he announced, his hands expressive with triumph. “Coming into 2018, the Malibu was described as a ‘beautifully balanced car that doesn’t compromise’. With impressive safety and seamless connectively, the Malibu stands as a midsize car that strikes the perfect balance between technology and dramatic styling, uniting the passion for driving with exceptional efficiency.”

He then pretended the fall asleep, snore, and snapped back to life while crumpling up the piece of paper he had read the preceding description from.

“The Chevy Malibu is dependable? Fantastic. But let’s be honest, ‘dependability’ isn’t exciting. It isn’t sexy. And it isn’t fun. No-one ever looked at someone they were attracted to and said, ‘Wow. You are so dependable, I want to slam you like a screen door’. So, while older consumers might be willing to turn a blind eye to the truth, younger generations don’t want to suspend disbelief. We want factual advertising. We want brand collaboration. We want to tick those boxes. And yes, we want to something that will trend! GM has given me three chances to do something really exciting, so let’s get this party started!”

“Now, let me be clear. True innovation will always be met with criticism. Revolutionary ideas will incur opposition. But we’re all adults here. So let’s put on our big girl panties, and our big boy latex-lined nighttime tighty-whiteys, and embrace the ugly truth. Drinking is fun. Driving is fun. And while the combination of drinking AND driving is inarguably bad, we should stop pretending that people aren’t driving to and from bars, restaurants, clubs, sporting events, concerts, breweries and package stores every single day. Can’t we get back to embracing the fun and relaxing benefits of alcohol consumption, while still acknowledging a need for dependability?”

“Which is why Chevy is proud to introduce a branding partnership between the 2019 Chevy Malibu, and Malibu Caribbean Rum, produced by West Indies Rum Distillery!” He then unveiled the above advertisement and paused, faced with an awkward silence. After approximately seven seconds, Mary Barra returned to the podium.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please accept our apologies. Neither General Motors, Chevy, West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd or their parent company Pernod Ricard were aware of this marketing campaign. No formal partnership exists, and neither company endorses the merging of “drinking” and “driving” as an acceptable marketing initiative.”

Strike One, Josh Billings.


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