"Mad Men’s" Chevy Vega Pitches Vs. What Actually Ran

Don and co. won a big account in episode 6 — Chevy. Here’s a look at what the ad campaign for the mysterious “XP-887” car actually looked like. posted on

While it would seem that Mad Men’s sixth season had taken a decidedly Debby Downer turn, something good actually happened in last night’s episode — Don’s agency teamed up with rival ad firm CGC to pitch Chevy together, resulting in a merger of the two companies and the gain of the Chevy account. (Don Draper actually smiled. He seemed happy. It was weird.)

The final scenes of the episode focused on Don and Ted’s separate pitches for this “top secret” car, described to them as the “XP-887”…

2. Ted’s Pitch:

“This is a car for the young and the young at heart. Because today, nobody knows where they’re headed, but they’re not afraid of what’s around the bend. Power plus design equals adventure. Throw the map out the window, then hit the road, Jack.”

3. Don’s pitch:

“Just music…people’s faces…all kinds: teenagers, dads, moms. Expressions of wonder. What could it possibly be? It’s so new, this combination of power, technology, comfort, and price that it’s impossible to imagine. But not at Chevy. The future is something you haven’t even thought of yet. You run that for a week then you finally show the car.”

4. What the Chevy Vega campaign actually looked like…


We didn’t actually get to see Don and Ted’s reformulated pitch, but what actually ran seems pretty different from their conceptual, emotion-driven ideas. Does this look like the “car of the future” to you?

In ads for the Vega, Chevy wanted to emphasize how this was a compact car that didn’t feel small. And, as Jalopnik explains, another draw of the car was the supposed technological leap for Chevy/GM — an “all cast aluminum engine.” I have no idea what that means.

The car sold well at first (so this ad campaign must have helped), however, over time the Vegas developed huge problems. So much so that the Vega has been called “the worst car ever made in America,” while Popular Mechanics once referred to it as the car that “nearly destroyed GM.”

This ad feels a bit more Draper-esque in style, praising the car before its release in a vague yet “magical” way.

10. And here is a completely uninspiring commercial for the Vega. I really hope SCDP cannot claim responsibility for this ad.

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