You won’t see any commercials like this these days.
It was the tail end of 1956 when Chevrolet decided to reveal its 1957 model lineup on television. Thankfully, we have the black and white advertisement to watch today, preserving so much car history. The way everything in this commercial is presented says so very much about what people valued.
You also get to see all the 1957 Chevrolets introduced to the public for the first time. Overall, the tone of this ad is quaint. Instead of aggressive rock music, there’s a nice classical score. People aren’t doing burnouts and acting crazy. You see a lot of couples brought together because of the cars, plus friends gathering around and enjoying each other’s company.
This commercial was aired during The Dinah Shore Show just days before the end of 1956. Chevrolet was a sponsor for the popular television show, and it would air commercials during it.
Of all the things to make a big deal about, the commercial focuses on the air intakes over the headlights. They were pretty revolutionary at the time, increasing airflow by up to 22 percent, a figure that most definitely gets mentioned. GM was looking for every angle to beat back the onslaught from Ford and Chrysler at the time.
These days we’re all about how fast a car is, how it will give you that feeling of greater power, and so forth. It’s obvious in this commercial Chevrolet is focusing more on how cars bring people who care about each other together. They can go on outings, hit the beach, or shop at a roadside fruit stand while enjoy their company. That’s made possible their Chevrolet Belair, instead of the car being a form of entertainment. That’s not necessarily better, just a different way of looking at things which we’ve lost in the past several decades.