With July 18th fast-approaching, a faceless worldwide horde of ‘Vette enthusiasts find themselves lined up, clamoring for the long-awaited launch of the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette. And while some might misinterpret that high-level of anticipation as some sort of immunity from public outcry, it’s important that this is 2019, we’re Americans, everyone is angry about something, and most are probably rushing to social media to bitch about it. And that’s exactly the case with this week’s live auto news.
Meet Darryl Covington III of Bluffton, South Carolina. A self-made (if not recent) billionaire with a net worth of $1.01B, Covington is the mastermind behind software employed by countless aggregate review sites, and a self-proclaimed ‘Champion of the Informed Consumer.’ Serving as a real-world example of “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client,” Covington is notorious for his unrelenting presence in online review sites, forums, and across social media (which usually involves him complaining about how a product or experience fell short of his expectations).
Whether or not you actually ask him, Darryl Covington III will tell you that – leading up to the release of the all-female Ghostbusters (2016) – he had been the one who coined the phrase, “you’re ruining my childhood.”
And while his attempts to trademark the phrase have been unsuccessful to date, it’s hard to imagine a day where you’re not hearing some internet blowhard using it to bitch about anything that dissolves their precious, romanticized enthusiasm. But I digress…
Covington was among roughly two-dozen influencers whose established and diverse social media reach earned them a unique partnership with GM. Included in that partnership, was an exclusive pre-release delivery of the new C8 ‘Vette. GM’s goal was to wow those influencers, to the point where enthusiastic posts would drive up advanced interest in the C8 even further, increasing sales opportunities across a wider demographic.
Covington’s only request? A specialty paint job, where the majority of the vehicle was to arrive in Arctic White, with roofline and hood accents in Torch Red. Recalling his youth, Covington had shared that his uncle had once owned a 1970 LT-1 with a similar paint job. Covington had always wanted that particular vehicle and was now looking to nurture a similar emotional response through the C8. But, unfortunately for Darryl Covington III, there was about to be a mix-up. And unfortunately for General Motors, the one person you don’t piss off is Darryl Covington III, who took to his social media accounts to rant in the general direction of his inconsolably bitter followers. And it looked something like this…
Wanted an epic Corvette since I was a boy, so I couldn’t turn down the opportunity for a brand-new C8. White with Red, just the way I always imagined it. Really wanted to share my excitement with all of you. Unfortunately, GM and Chevy let me down big time.
#NotMyCorvette #ChevyFail #RuinedMyChildhood
WTF? Paid a premium for Arctic White with Torch Red, they sent me Black with Torch Red. @chevrolet just ruined my childhood. #ForgetTheC8
And while most rational people find it easy to ignore an emotional blowhard like Darryl Covington III, he still managed to inspire a lot of negative sentiment regarding the C8.
Not that GM and Chevy are worried about it…
“You can’t please everyone, all the time,” explains Melinda Batminn, Director of Social Analytics at GM. “With that in mind, we simply have to acknowledge that there are a lot of petulant children masquerading as adults across all social media platforms. And since we’ve given them a platform, we should expect nothing less than ignorant tantrums screamed at the top of their digital lungs. The funny thing is, most of these haters probably don’t even realize that they’re just helping us to trend more easily. Darryl Covington III should certainly know better.”
Whether or not Covington intends to rescind his criticisms once GM rectifies the mix-up remains to be seen. In other news, Disney hired a black actress to play The Little Mermaid but – if you’re over the age of 16, and have less than nine zeros in your bank account balance – guess what? You should have more important things to do than go online and bitch about how the casting of a movie is going to ruin your childhood.