Chevy tribute to Prince earns top honor from ad group

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Chevrolet’s dedication to Prince following the legendary musician’s death in April earned its partner ad agency several awards Wednesday night from a prominent Detroit ad group.

Detroit-based agency Commonwealth//McCann received overall best ad for the year, as well as getting two additional awards at the Adcraft Club of Detroit’s 2016 D Show for its work with the General Motors Co. brand’s Prince dedication.

The full-page print ad, which was in six newspapers across the United States, including The Detroit News, featured the back end of a red 1963 Chevrolet Corvette at the bottom, with a back background and epitaph: “Baby that was much too fast, 1958-2016.” The line was a reference to the lyrics in Prince’s 1982 song “Little Red Corvette.”

“It’s close to a perfect ad. It’s simple. It’s pure. It’s beautiful,” said Michelle Rossow, executive director of Adcraft Club of Detroit and the Adcraft Foundation. “It was a fitting way for a brand to pay tribute to a global icon like Prince.”

The Prince tribute also was awarded “Best of Awards” for print and social media. Rossow said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if the ad goes on to win several international awards.

“As long as Chevy’s been Chevy, it’s been linked to music,” she said. “The attachment to the music industry is part of their DNA.”

The awards are determined by an independent panel of 15 national and international judges from outside of Detroit. Nearly 600 ads were submitted for this year’s awards.

Commonwealth//McCann also was awarded “Best of Innovative Media” for its theater ad for the Chevrolet Malibu.

Doner was the only other agency to win an award for work with the Detroit automakers. The Southfield-based agency won “Best of TV” for its Star Wars campaign for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

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