See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet

February 18, 2016

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By Matt Wolfe

After the Second World War, the United States was hungry for cars. The baby boom that took place after American GI’s returned home coincided with an explosion in automotive production as U.S. manufactures began to build road cars for the first time in nearly a decade. Thanks to Americas postwar prosperity and the new interstate highway system, many of these new families had the opportunity to partake in a uniquely American tradition; the road trip.

Chevrolet was more than willing to provide the vehicle for these family vacations, and the “See the USA in your Chevrolet” ad campaign was their pitch to get families to choose a Chevy as their traveling companion. The campaign was created by one of GM’s longest serving ad agencies, Campbell Ewald. Founded by Frank Campbell and Henry Ewald in 1911, the company was one of the best-known marketing firms in Detroit. Campbell Ewald’s first big account was the Hyatt Roller Bearing Company, of which Alfred Sloan was President.

When Sloan left for GM, he hired Campbell-Ewald to manage the Chevrolet advertising account. The company managed numerous campaigns for Chevrolet, including a series of animated shorts that were produced at the famous “Jam Handy building” in Detroit. The “See the USA in your Chevrolet” campaign was among Campbell-Ewald’s most successful.

The jingle, written by Leo Corday and Leon Carr, was originally sung by Chevrolet’s real-life husband-wife duo, Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy. However, the song became most famous when Dinah Shore began to sing it in 1952. Chevrolet was the sales king of the 1950’s with over 13 million cars sold, over a million more than Ford and more than double any other brand. Thanks in part to Campbell-Ewald’s brilliant marketing, more families saw the USA in a Chevrolet than any other car.

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