Things to look out for during the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night include: Established hit makers performing their latest chart-topping tunes, upstart artists challenging them for the big prizes, old-timers staging comebacks — and commercials for the Chevy Cruze. At least that’s how the car maker hopes viewers will plan their evenings. As part of its strategy to glow brightly on the radar screens of young car shoppers, especially young women, Chevrolet worked with singer-producer Pharrell Williams and his musical group N*E*R*D, and the singer Ciara to produce a “customized version” of N*E*R*D’s “Hot-N-Fun” video to be aired during the awards show.
In the video, which was shot on a Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, the scene is a 1950s drive-in with old and new Chevy vehicles. The car maker says the segment, which amounts to an extended-play advertising spot, is part of its media buy but will be “seamlessly integrated into the show.” Chevrolet is one of several old motor-vehicle brands trying to cultivate young customers after years of relying mostly on baby boomers for sales. Rival Ford has pitched its new Fiesta subcompact mainly on youth-oriented social media and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson has been displaying its bikes and marketing them heavily at music festivals this summer. The awards show from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles starts at 9 p.m Sunday.