GM’s New Commercial: Hit or Miss?

It has been the talk of the nation: the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) are struggling. And in direct correlation to that, once prominent cities like Detroit are slowing shutting down. With GM’s recent bankruptcy filling and the subsequent plea on the Hill for funding and federal aid, the company has launched a new marketing program designed to uplift consumers and make them believe that they are fighting to bring American made cars back.

GM is putting an interesting spin on their hardships, and even though I personally believe these companies should cease all advertising and concentrate solely on turning their businesses around, I think this new campaign is a step in the right direction.

The new 60-second spot, launched last week tugs at every cliché Americans love to hear: “It’s not about going out of business; it’s about getting down to business”, and “leaner, greener, faster, smarter”. The ad spends several seconds reiterating the concerns that got them into this mess, but somehow spins it to sound positive “we’re not witnessing the end of the American car; we’re witnessing the rebirth of the American car. General Motors needs to start over to get stronger.”

In conjunction with this new commercial, GM has launched a new website and even a new blog, all giving the appearance that the company is trying to air everything out in front of their customers; a way to say, “Let’s do this together”.

It’s strong. It’s powerful. But will it work?

There has already been a lot of chatter around the internet about GM’s new campaign. From what I can tell, it’s about a 50/50 split of support and disproval. That is always going to happen, especially with a company as prominent as GM. But the true question is will it help the brand? I believe that if they can stick to their messaging, they have a shot. It is by far the most truthful ad from any of the Big Three since this whole mess started. But then again truth and advertising don’t always go hand-in-hand. As anyone who has worked in PR and Marketing knows that you don’t necessarily need a good product to market it well (think Crystal Pepsi).

I’m interested to hear what other PR and Marketing professionals have to say about this new campaign. Will it work?

Posted by: Lauren

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