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Hybrid Mad Men: New ad campaign may spark interest in Chevy Volt

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Susan Walsh/AP

(Read caption) President Barack Obama sits in a Chevy Volt in this July 2010 file photo, during a groundbreaking ceremony at Compact Power, Inc., a subsidary of LG Chem Ltd., a battery plant in Holland, Mich. In the past two years, Chevy has struggled to create an effective advertising campaign for the Volt. But a new line of stripped-down ads may just do the trick.

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Just how do you advertise a plug-in car like the 2012 Chevrolet Volt? 

In the two years since advertising for General Motors’ first plug-in hybrid started, GM has tried a whole bunch of different tactics. Sadly, to date, very few have been successful, focusing on why you should want a Chevy Volt rather than why you’ll want one

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Now it seems GM has taken a leaf out of the Apple school of advertising, launching a series of ads which focus on real-life owners who have made the switch to electricity.

They are, it says, the happiest car owners on the planet. 

Filmed in an all-white photo studio with a Chevrolet Volt beside them, existing Volt owners talk about everything from the car’s acceleration to running costs, features and range.

Looking and sounding much like Apple’s own switcher ads from a few years ago, the ads cast the Volt not just as a car, but as a must-have device.

With its relaxed presentation, no gimmicks, and not an alien, polar bear or zombie in sight, the new Volt ads are certainly more appealing and personal than the ones we’ve seen before. 

But will GM’s happy-band of happy Volt owners giving personal testimony alongside a peppy music track encourage you to buy the range-extended electric car?

And will the online ad campaign mean that, just like the Apple Switch ads, we'll see a rush on Chevrolet Volt spoof ads?