HHR Launch

In 2005, Chevy decided to launch their new vehicle in the digital space first, before rolling it out into the wider world.

Concept. Design. Production. Direction




Inset of the Prelaunch Site

An example of the Rollover state of the Prelaunch site

HHRya Homepage

HHR Prelaunch site

For the newest car in Chevy's arsenal, they decided to use the freshly matured digital space to launch the vehicle. Why? It was an untraditional car (even though it's supposedly modeled after the original Suburban), targeted at untraditional people.

The overall launch was broken into three core pieces: the viral launch campaign: dubbed HHRya, a revamped prelaunch site (the original was designed as an autoshow platform for all new Chevys), and a launch site.

HHRya was conceived to fulfill a simple communication objective: seed the name. HHR was a new brand name in a crowded market, and the simple premise was essentially jacking existing communication media (ironic considering the Apprentice results), by having people try and get the initials in the public space, or photoshop the initials.

This ended up being the first ever Social/User-Generated-Content work the agency produced. We partnered with a camera-photo hosting site, and engaged brand embassadors to begin to build images before announcing what this was for. (this was in the days before Flickr existed, so how's that for 'bleeding-edge'). People were enticed to create the best 'takeover', for the chance to win a vehicle. We got some great entries: including radio requests for loved ones nicknamed 'HHR', public interruptions, signs at baseball games, and the winner: someone that actually plowed the letters into a crop field, and then flew over.

This digital only soft launch was the first several months of the campaign. We then leveraged UGC assets in online media, print and other traditional advertising. Later, we partnered with The Tonight Show to do a fully-purchased show, that would announce winners.

The other main piece I'm showing here was the prelaunch site (dubbed 'Slurpee'), that was an innovative way to dump a ton of content, and allow for large imagery. The interface was fluid, and rolling over the vehicle images in the boxes would fade back content to show a full image.