Cannes Lions

Walter the Cat

COMMONWEALTH McCANN, Detroit / CHEVROLET / 2022

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In the spring of 2021, Chevrolet clients greenlighted an entirely new campaign. A campaign that would move the brand and its tone to a more modern, fresh, and fun approach. Coming off the pandemic the world was ready for some fun. All of the work was rooted in storytelling, with a key product promise at the center, yet told in a way to make the everyday anything but ordinary. Our assignment was to bring the new Chevy Silverado Trail Boss into this approach.

Idea

Walter is not your typical cat. He likes playing fetch, swimming, herding cattle, and other dog-like activities. Most of all, he likes his owner and the Chevy Silverado Trail Boss. Together, they go on the kind of epic adventures that would leave most dogs and trucks far behind.

Strategy

There are certain ingredients in a lot of truck commercials: a man, a truck, and a dog. We wanted to disrupt that formula. Afterall, Chevy is constantly disrupting the truck formula as well, whether it’s new features, new trims, or special editions, we’re always bringing something surprising to market. In this case, the Chevy Silverado Trail Boss and it’s unique Multi-Flex Tailgate. The goal was to dramatize that by doing something equally surprising.

Execution

There are certain ingredients in truck commercials: a man, a truck, a dog. We wanted to disrupt that formula, the same way Chevy disrupts the category by bringing surprising features to market. We decided to dramatize it by doing something equally surprising: Walter, the cat that acts like a dog.

Outcome

“Walter the Cat,” which first aired during coverage for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, generated 25.3 million TV impressions between July 23 and July 26. It has also generated more than 130,000 views on the Chevy YouTube channel, all organic in its first 36 hours. Dubbed the “Unofficial Mascot of the Summer Olympics” by many media outlets, Walter’s biggest fans came from Twitter reactions to the spot. According to Twitter, positive sentiment for TV spots typically runs in the 15-20% range. “Walter” earned 73% positive, 27% neutral and ZERO percent negative sentiment. The Twitter Detroit office said they’ve never seen anything close to the reaction this received. The positive reception to the spot even led to our clients creating a line of “Walter” merchandise for sale at ChevyMall.com.

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