New GM video – a bad way to (re)start

“This is about getting down to business. Because the only chapter we’re focused on is Chapter One.”  What a load of crap! Do advertising writers really believe that cliches and slogans are the most effective way to communicate?

You missed ‘electric’, ‘efficient’, ‘quality’ and many other important ‘trends’,  you’ve mismanaged one of the world’s largest and most important companies and now you are in bankruptcy protection… so what do you do?

You release a cliche riddled, generic video with predictable imagery that promises a ‘new beginning’, a’ fresh start’. The only thing missing is the waving flag and Bob Seger music. {Note, I watched the video again after posting and realized there is a waving flag, my bad.} 

This is a watershed moment for GM and its advertsing agency and yes, one day after bankruptcy filing is very early in the game, but if GM wants to signal that things have truly changed then the first signal to the market should be in it’s advertising/PR. This one minute ad could have been created five or fifty years ago, for any company. There is nothing genuine, informative or interesting in this video, nothing to signal to the world that things really are changing – it’s just more of the same.

GM will emerge from bankruptcy protection – it has to. It will be smaller and will have blown out many of the questionable lines it once supported. It will be leaner and perhaps meaner. It will also have to start communicating in a very different fashion. Informative may be a good place to start. Honest is good too. Inspiring would be ideal if that were possible.

Note: Blocking comments on YouTube is also a really bad start.

One Response

  1. GM has to grab attention of their domestic market and let them know that they are not going to roll over and die. This is the first volley in their fight to stay alive. They are appealing to the American spirit, which if you hear it often enough all becomes cliché: America is: business, entrepreneurial, tenacious, and proud.

    Round 1 message is: GM will not give up. GM will wake up and change to meet the needs of Americans. GM will survive and support their customers for many decades to come.

    Just like the Molson’s “I am Canadian” ads, GM is pulling at the patriotic heart-strings to re-start the faith in American business.

    Americans have taken a beating to their self-image. I think they will gobble up this chiché crap.

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