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Boston Startup Revs Chevrolet’s Super Bowl Ads

BOSTON — It’ll be the fifth Super Bowl in 11 seasons for the New England Patriots on Feb. 5. But it’s a Super Bowl debut for a Boston Internet startup.

Chevrolet's Super Bowl marketing co-branded for its dealerships.

Founded two years ago this month, Promoboxx is already doing business around America’s biggest marketing event.

“My Facebook status was: ‘I’m going to the Super Bowl. Hi Mom!'” said Promoboxx CEO Ben Carcio Thursday at the company’s new offices in the South End. “It’s pretty cool. And it’s even better that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl. It really makes it a fun time.”

Carcio isn’t physically going to the Super Bowl. It’s his company that is hitting the big stage. He and his six full-time employees are going to be busy, working right through the big game. Promoboxx is helping Chevrolet spread its Super Bowl advertising online, including this TV commercial:

Chevrolet Super Bowl Ad

The Super Bowl has always been a prime venue for rolling out car commercials. Last year, Volkswagen made waves with its Darth Vader TV spot that got tons of views online before the game even kicked off. But Promoboxx’s CEO is trying to help Chevrolet go beyond just throwing commercials up on YouTube.

“What Chevy’s doing, which is entirely unique, is they’re doing that through their dealerships,” Carcio said. “Their dealerships are the people that sell their product. Their dealerships are the people that interface with the customers.”

For instance, the car manufacturer said its dealerships get more visitors to all of their local Web pages combined than to Chevrolet.com. So Promoboxx helps the car company take its online content -– the TV ad, a smartphone app and other stuff -– and deliver it to dealers so that they can weave that content into their own websites. So far 800 dealerships are taking part.

One of them is Stanley Chervolet in McCordsville, Ind., just 15 minutes by car to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, where Super Bowl XLVI will be played.

“It’s another entity on the Facebook page,” said employee Rex Phillips. “It’s something that can help possibly drive some people to my website. You know, it’s another medium to help promote your products.”

Which in turn helps Chevrolet sell cars.

“If you have a great relationship with you dealer, you’re very likely to buy from that dealer again,” said Andrew Dinsdale, who works on digital marketing and customer relationship management at Chevrolet. “And so we see Promoboxx as a way for the dealer relationship with the customer to continue to be cemented and expanded.”

Chevy is using the buzz around the Super Bowl to help its dealerships build their online communities. The company’s Super Bowl business is also giving the Boston South End startup Promoboxx a chance to prove its Internet marketing product on a national scale. Carcio said he got a call recently from Coca-Cola, asking about the Super Bowl campaign.

“From a small startup marketing perspective,” Carcio said, “it’s huge.”

You could almost say super.

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