Chevrolet was one of the sponsors of the 46th NAACP Image Awards and AlwaysAList.com traveled with them to Pasadena, Calif. for a weekend of activities.
An organization that celebrates the advancement of colored people, it was fitting for Chevrolet to have Martin Davis, GM Design Manager, Exterior Lighting and North American Exterior Design, and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, who received the President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards, on hand.
Davis, who has had a 14-year career at GM, has served in roles of increasing responsibility, including leading design teams for the GMC Acadia and the Cadillac SLS, while also taking on design roles in the United Kingdom and China.
Lee, best known for creating films like “Do the Right Thing,” “School Daze” and “Malcolm X,” launched his boutique ad agency Spike DDB with Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide in 1997.
During a question and answer brunch at The Langham Huntington Hotel moderated by Jocelyn K. Allen, GM’s Director of Grassroots, Community and Diversity Communications, Lee spoke about his groundbreaking commercial campaign that features 14-year-old baseball prodigy Mo’ne Davis.
The Chevrolet commercial featuring Davis—both the 30-second and 60-second versions—did not include any Chevy vehicles.
“She was a phenomenon! She was the darling of America! She represents south Philly and was throwing 70-miles an hour,” Lee told AlwaysAList.com and the other media guests, before adding: “And baseball isn’t her best sport! She’s even better at basketball!”
The 57-year-old, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Association of National Advertisers in April, said that they had to get permission for Davis to appear in the campaign from Little League Baseball. “She’s in the eighth grade and we had to do it now cause once she gets into the ninth grade she can’t do anything,” he explained.
Lee said he respected Chevy for trusting him enough to embrace his vision to shoot the commercial campaign without a car because, “it was a risk.”. But in the end, he feels Davis’ story resonates with viewers because “her story is an American story.” He added: “She can’t even drive! But Chevy said that’s who we are!” (The full commercial is below)
As far as Chevy’s involvement in the NAACP Image Awards, two-time Oscar nominee explained: “Chevy is an iconic brand and Black people buy Chevys!”
Expanding upon that iconic nature of Chevy is what design manager Davis aims to do. Doing a presentation of the Chevy Corvette and Tahoe for media guests and influencers, Davis showcased the latest designs in exterior lighting and explained how the brand wants you to “identify one of the vehicles just by the lights you see in the rear view mirror.”
Davis believes that with the evolution of GM vehicles, the detailing of their lights are as important as their overall design. “We want each vehicle and each brand to have its own identity with the lights and we want you to recognize which vehicle you see coming just by the lights alone,” he offered.
The Chevy brand made an iconic imprint at this year’s NAACP Image Awards, as they continue to partner with organizations that embody their company’s diversity missions.
VIDEO: Watch Chevy’s Throw Like A Girl commercial campaign featuring Mo’ne Davis below.