Creative in association withGear Seven

McCann China’s Striking Sci-Fi Blockbuster Explores What the Colour ‘Black’ Means for Chevrolet

Advertising Agency
Shanghai, China
Agency launches first brand video for the Chevrolet Black Bowtie emblem directed by Fu Binbin

Chevrolet China and McCann Shanghai have launched the very first brand video for the Chevrolet Black Bowtie emblem, since it entered the China market in 2005. Brought to life through an exploration of the significance and striking visual impact of the colour “black”, the brand value of Chevrolet's "born powerful" echoes the spirit of today’s Chinese youth who dare to break through and pursue their strong selves.

The three-minute video has been shot in the style of a sci-fi blockbuster. Majestic scenarios—shown frame by frame, depict fundamentally 'black' substances and how the colour black is assimilated into people’s everyday lives and aesthetic consciousness.

"We looked at all the things that the colour black stands for, all the history and mythology. From coal fires to black iron forged into tools by early settlers, to the oil that is the lifeblood of the industrial age, and to today’s era of science and technology, black is considered by many to be the most advanced and the purest aesthetic of human beings. Through different imagery, the goal was to convey that black itself is a symbol of innate power. This is encapsulated in the essence of the Chevrolet brand: Born Powerful,” said Yaho Yeh, executive creative director of McCann Shanghai’s Chevrolet team.

Director Fu Binbin harnesses a myriad of visual surprises to bring the film to life. From the black calligraphy in traditional ink wash, to the breathtaking moment the women breaks through the glass. These sequences were designed to convey a palpable sense of power.

With the assistance of McCann, Chevrolet also built a series of Black Bowtie pop-up stores, in order to provide a more tangible brand experience.

The event team found a black carbon nanotechnology paint that absorbs more than 99.8% of the light that hits its surface, creating the ultimate black finish. This black paint was used to cover three huge geometric objects; a triangle, a cube, and a sphere— placed in the cities of Chengdu, Xi'an, and Changsha. These Chevrolet pop-up stores garnered attention and generated buzz on social media. 

Brands often represent a more prestigious and elite positioning by launching a “black series”. Within the product itself, black also often represents a higher performance. Cars are not exempt from this.

"The Black Bowtie series will play a vital part in this critical phase for Chevrolet's brand upgrade. Through this campaign, we hope that the ‘born powerful’ message will strike a chord with young Chinese people’s pursuit of individuality, as well as to strengthen their recognition of Chevrolet, and for the brand essence of the Black Bowtie to resonate and carve a place in their lives", SAIC-GM Chevrolet brand director, Vincent Fang, commented.

"This is the first brand-level communication of the Chevrolet Black Bowtie since it entered the China market in 2005. Shortly after we started work on the campaign, there was a resurgence of the epidemic in Shanghai. The lockdown of more than two months presented a big challenge for us; everything from daily discussions, ideation, presentation, even shooting and post-production… could only be carried out online. Nonetheless, with an incredible team spirit, with everybody taking ownership of the project’s success, and the tremendous trust and support from the client, we made it happen and launched on schedule”, Henry Ho, general manager of McCann Shanghai Chevrolet team, said. “We hope that through this campaign, people will have a deeper understanding of the essence of the Chevrolet Black Bowtie and get to know a different Chevrolet."

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