Your taxpayer dollars at work

By Felix Salmon
June 2, 2009

No, this is not a parody. It’s real. If you thought a nationalized manufacturer had any hope of being inventive or avoiding the easy and obvious path, maybe it’s time to think again.

(Via Jones)


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what’s wrong with it? GM still has to spend money on PR and advertising (we know their cars won’t sell themselves) and a little honesty isn’t going to hurt. They have to convince buyers they’ve changed their ways, and unless they’re going to spend tens of millions of dollars placing this on prime-time TV, what’s wrong? getting it on you-tube doesn’t cost them anything, and I didn’t see anything in the video that couldn’t have been made from stock footage.

Posted by KenG | Report as abusive

Yes I’m not sure what you are getting at here Felix?
I thought it was a good advertisement showing us what GM is going to focus on

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Yeah, what’s your issue with it?

Posted by RN | Report as abusive

or Chapter 11.

What does John Elway have to do with it?

Posted by bdbd | Report as abusive

Felix’s point is that this is a totally generic television automobile ad that spouts chiche’ after cliche’, both visually and aurally. The corny rock sound track, the portentious and pretentious narrative track, the cars speeding though countryside, over hill and dale, could have been made any time in the past 40 years. Horses! Football! Sunrise! Why no Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders? Why be inventive when you are an icon of the tired, the conventional and the the trite?

Posted by Amadeus 48 | Report as abusive

If I may….

The problem is that “reinventing” themselves is what they should have been doing all along, but didn’t when they still had the opportunity to avoid bankruptcy. It’s like they just discovered something brilliant, yet really aren’t much further along than South Park’s infamous underpants gnomes.

See here for a better overview….

I like the idea that they try to communicate that they are “re-inventing” the company.

The execution has a few cliches. They decided to appeal to the emotional aspect of cars, “America”, “re-birth”. That was the problem.

Posted by Bonara H. Runner | Report as abusive

yeah, cliches and generic ads – they’re selling to their base. They don’t have any chance of capturing the BMW or Prius owners (not until they have a viable Volt, anyway), so they need to convince their core customers they are still around, and those people will like this ad.

At least they didn’t resort to fear or sex, the usual drivers for most TV ads.

Posted by KenG | Report as abusive

I see green shoots in it, that must be a good sign.

Posted by Guillaume | Report as abusive

The part I don’t get is: h

How can GM expect to sell ANY cars now when they are promising better cars soon?

Nah, Amadeus. That’s pretty weak.

I doubt that’s what Felix was referring to.

A critique of advertising techniques is not the same as a critique of the message as Felix, with his level of sophistication, would know.

Posted by RN | Report as abusive