Corvette History through Ads: The C5R and Factory Racing, Part 3
The Corvette’s assault on Le Mans was the all-consuming focus of the Corvette Racing Team and the marketing department wanted to ensure that it was noticed by car buyers and enthusiasts. So aside from the informational advertisements run each month for the six months prior to the C5-R’s first appearance at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2000, most other advertisements were also centered on the famous race.
Though the Corvette did not win their first attempt at the world’s most famous sports car race they did finish third and fourth in the GTS class. But at their second attempt in 2001 the Corvette Racing Team was dominant and captured the top two spots on the podium.
During the 24 hour race photographers captured some great Corvette racing photos and Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet’s advertisng agency, realized that very little copy was necessary and the pictures told the entire story.
In 2001, the same year as the Corvette’s LeMans victory, the Z06 was reintroduced for the first time since 1963. There are no statistics that show the impact the success on the race track had in terms of sales, but the Z06 was a huge success in the showrooms. The purely performance based Z06 cost $8K more than the base car and the 5773 sold accounted for 16% of all 2001 Corvette sales. Clearly, a solid affirmation of the “Win on Sunday – Sell on Monday” aphorism.