We can’t think of anyone who actually likes Chevrolet’s “Real People, Not Actors” commercials, and yet the manufacturer says they’ve been good enough at selling cars the bowtie brand is sticking with them.

Automotive News talked to Paul Edwards, Chevrolet’s VP for marketing in the United States, who said the campaign “has plenty of life left.”

From the perspective of gearheads like us, the ads annoy because it seems like Chevrolet went out of its way to find people who haven’t seen a new car in about 20 years, so effusive with praise are the “not-actors” about the vehicles they’re presented with.

And that presentation is often gimmicky: in one ad, the front end of a Chevrolet Cruze protrudes from a wall so the earnest host can surprise the group with the car’s new hatchback rear quarters; in another, a number of pickup trucks dressed in superficial trim levels rise dramatically through the floor.

Then, there was the Silverado ad that took a shot at the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150, showing the host dropping a metal toolbox into the Ford’s bed and tearing a hole in the metal. Fair enough, but the ad completely ignores that no one who buys a truck for work will treat their vehicle remotely as roughly without having a bed liner installed first.

For many consumers, the ads that resonate most are those conceived with humour in mind, and the only version of Chevrolet’s campaign that’s made people laugh was a tie-in with the Lego Batman movie in which a self-conscious Batman defends his choice of vehicle against the criticisms of real LEGO people.

Another of the more charming variants on the concept again involves the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback, but puts dogs in the car instead of people.

Then of course there’s the series of parody ads not done by Chevrolet, which add in obnoxious Bostonian interloper “Mahk” who ridicules the people so easily impressed by cars sporting features not exactly unique to GM’s cars.

Chevrolet’s Paul Edwards says the latest vehicle to get the real people treatment is the Equinox compact crossover. That ad brings another “freshening” of the campaign, and proves “there’s no sign it’s losing steam,” he says.

(via Automotive News)