Chevy takes a lemon and turns it into lemonade
A stage-frightened Chevy executive, breathing heavily and reading off what appeared to be a bar napkin, presented the World Series MVP trophy to San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner on live network television. As the executive, Rikk Wilde, stumbled through the presentation, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig distractedly scratched his head and peered offstage as if to say, “Is this really happening?”
Wilde listed the many wonderful attributes of Bumgarner’s prize, a new Chevy Colorado truck, noting that "It combines class-winning and leading, you know, technology and stuff, with Wi-Fi powered by OnStar."
By the time the presentation had mercifully ended, an Internet sensation was born.
Within minutes, Wilde’s painful minute in the spotlight had taken over Twitter, pushing aside Bumgarner and the Giants, who had just wrapped up their third World Series title in five years.
But while many laughed at Wilde, others seemingly identified with Wilde, a liaison between Chevy and Kansas City-area dealers who was chosen because he’s a lifetime Kansas City Royals fan. Sweating profusely in an open-collared shirt, he wasn’t a marketing suit reading from a teleprompter, the usual pick for these duties, and that was somehow endearing.
#ChevyGuy and #TechnologyandStuff began trending. On a night it wanted to introduce a new product, Chevy was becoming a punch line.
But someone at the automaker has a sense of humor. Within hours, Chevy had posted a photo of the truck on its Facebook page with the caption, “You Know You Want a Truck. #TechnologyAndStuff.”
Almost a week later, Chevy was still basking in the spotlight of national media stories about an awards presentation that otherwise would have been forgotten before the last Champagne bottle was drained in the Giants’ clubhouse.
"We saw quickly the 'technologyandstuff' tagline kind of take off and start to trend," a Chevy spokesman told the Associated Press. "That's when you realize that you have something there that you might want to embrace."