In the first launch event of its kind, the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado trucks were showcased on a trip up the new Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway last week.
NWT film commissioner Camilla MacEachern said interest in the territory as a location for car promotions is growing.
“Last spring, Mercedes filmed a commercial in Inuvik, and Volkswagen filmed in Yellowknife shortly after,” she said. “Production companies are always looking for the most unique location, and while we have seen an increase in commercials, TV series and docu-series being produced here, we’re still very much untapped.”
MacEachern said these kinds of promotions are highly beneficial to the territory’s local economies.
“It certainly does leverage wonderful financial benefits when companies come in. They are spending a significant amount of money on the local economy. Everything from airfare … to hotels, local caterers and tour operators are benefitting financially,” she said. “This industry is all about networking and based on recommendations. These folks had a positive experience here, and so the hope is that they will spread the word about our great locations and hospitality so we can bring in more tourism and similar promotional opportunities.”
She said the promotions that result from the Chevrolet launch event will have a positive impact for Inuvik.
“The outcome of something like this has global impact,” said MacEachern. “It shows people that we exist, who we are and what we have to offer.”
The main event of the launch was a trip in some of the new trucks up the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway for national media, social media influencers and writers.
Ester Bucci, senior manager of product communications for General Motors Canada, said the new highway is a perfect place to launch the new trucks because it is one of Canada’s newest roads, and Chevrolet’s slogan is “finding new roads.”
“It’s a very technically challenging road, and we feel like we’ve built the best truck ever, so why not test it right in its element – this is the kind of environment that these trucks belong in, and the new Silverados performed outstandingly on the brand new road,” said Bucci. “It was the perfect environment … it was the perfect fit for us.”
Bucci said the Chevrolet team and the group of media took part in a tour of Inuvik, meals at the Western Arctic Regional Visitor’s Centre, a community feast in Tuktoyaktuk as well as a boat tour of the pingos.
On September 21, the trucks were tested out in one of the quarries just outside of Inuvik on a specially-made track that was built to test the trucks’ off-road abilities.
Alex Maclean, a social media influencer from Nova Scotia, participated in the launch events and the off-roading tests.
“The trucks are beasts, and they’re handling the quarry really well,” he said. “I’m really excited to show this experience on social media … and I’m really excited to share what I’ve seen here online with those who haven’t had the chance to be here, because I’ve never seen anything like this area before.”