Silverados, apparently, are no longer `Like a Rock'

October 16, 2005|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Been living with a vague sense that something is missing from your TV set?

If you caught any sports programming last weekend, it might have hit you: Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" is gone. Quietly phased out several months ago after 14 years as the theme for Chevrolet's Silverado commercials, it was succeeded by the debut of ads with music by fellow heartland rocker John Mellencamp.

The Mellencamp commercials - which use his up-tempo 1991 song "Now More Than Ever" - are the latest addition to Chevrolet's cross-brand "American Revolution" campaign, introduced in 2004.

Bucking the customary fanfare that accompanies many ad rollouts, the respective parties will say little about the Mellencamp spots. A spokesman for Chevrolet agreed to give just a one-sentence statement, and a Mellencamp representative would say only that his client, a longtime Seger fan, should not be portrayed as a replacement for the Detroit rocker as "the voice of Chevy trucks."

Launched in 1991 by the Warren ad firm Campbell-Ewald, the "Like a Rock" series became one of the longest-running campaigns in modern advertising - and one of the most recognizable in TV history, according to industry research.

The campaign's annual favorability rating among consumers, which once topped 90 percent, fell in recent years to about 40 percent, a source with the series said.

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