So it's one thing to take your product and run it head-to-head against the competition in a controlled environment like the Fusion Challenge ads FoMoCo started running a few months ago. In those ads, readers of Road et Track and Car und Driver were given the chance to drive a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and an AWD Ford Fusion through a cone course and then asked to rate which was best in terms of handling and prettiness. In those ads, obvs, the AWD Fusion beat the competition. But that was a controlled environment. I would have doubted any automaker would have the guts to put their competitor's mid-size sedan in the dealership next to their own, much less when their competitor has been the best-selling car for most of the last decade. But that's exactly what Chevy's doing — we're hearing the General's asking dealers to recreate the "Pepsi Challenge" of the 1970's — and drop a Camry into the dealer showroom and place it right up next to their newly redesigned 2008 Chevy Malibu, and let the buyers decide. I have to say, it's a ballsy move and it means one of two things — either the General really thinks the new Malibu can beat the Camry head-to-head, or else they've completely lost their minds. The General better be hoping that focus group data actually says what they think it says.
Chevy calls out Camry [Detroit News]
Ad Watch: Hachette Buff-Mag Intellectual Reacharound Further Engorges With New "Ford Challenge" Commercials; Ad Watch: Ford Will Challenge Your Mid-Size To A Duel And Pay Car & Driver To Make It Happen [internal]