Holden has launched a surprising social media campaign as it approaches the 12-month anniversary for the announcement of the shutdown of the iconic brand.
The campaign – supported by RMIT University students in Melbourne – uses some of Holden’s most famous photos from its media archives and places them in modern day settings with the help of Google Maps.
In the examples shown, the photos are reproduced in the same iconic locations they were originally shot – such as the 1965 HD Holden in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (above), and a stretch of beach used to promote the 1964 EH Holden wagon (below).
The social media campaign – on Instagram and a dedicated website – came as a surprise to industry observers given Holden has sold out of cars locally and the brand was retired at the end of 2020.
However, former Holden dealers have told CarAdvice the advertising campaign is intended to be a subtle reminder the company still has a presence in Australia in the form of parts and service.
When US car giant General Motors announced on 17 February 2020 it was axing the Holden brand by the end of the year, it pledged to offer parts and service back-up for “at least” 10 years.
While it remains unclear how many former Holden dealers nationally have signed contracts to maintain parts and service centres – even with their showrooms closed or rebranded – CarAdvice has been told there has been a significant drop-off in parts sales and service bookings since the shutdown announcement a year ago.
“Parts sales have fallen off a cliff and service numbers are down, so our best guess is this campaign is designed somehow to put Holden back on people’s radar,” said one veteran Holden dealer. “That said, I’m not sure there are too many parts for a HQ Holden still around, or any of the old cars they put in the (advertisement) for that matter.”
The creative agency that produced the campaign – dubbed “Rewinding Roads” – said the program was designed to match the “photographic skills with everyday Australians to pay tribute to a brand that has been part of Australian culture and our national psyche for over 70 years”.
In a media statement, General Motors Australia and New Zealand managing director, Marc Ebolo said: “It was always our intention to recognise the important contribution Holden has made in this country. With the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020, this website is a simple way that Holden family and friends can come together to celebrate this iconic Australian brand.”
“With Holden continuing to service vehicles and provide parts to its many customers in Australia, we wanted to make sure this didn’t feel like an ending,” Holden’s media statement continued.
“Just as Holden drivers can keep using and enjoying their vehicles for years to come, we hope that this site can be enjoyed by all Australians, whether they are uploading their favourite photos or just browsing the galleries of Holdens all over the country,” said Mr Ebolo.
Watch the Rewinding Holden video below:
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