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Its back to the wall, Detroit fights back.

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Its back to the wall, Detroit fights back.

Peter DeLorenzo


Detroit. The new advertising from GM marketing for the Saturn Aura - the "Rethink American" campaign, which made its debut last week - is the first work by Deutsch L.A. for Saturn (after Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco was summarily dismissed earlier this year), and it merits a closer look.

Some background is in order first, however. The Saturn Aura is probably the most significant mainstream sedan from General Motors in at least a decade. Touted, praised and awarded by the automotive media, the Aura is an ultra-competitive entry aimed right at the heart of the market. But the Aura has started off more slowly than expected, which has been puzzling and disconcerting for GM marketing types, to say the least.

There are a lot of reasons and theories about why this is so, but only one really matters in this discussion - and that's the fact that after years of building mediocrity, GM is finding it difficult to convince the American consumer that they're finally building vehicles worth looking at.

This "perception gap" is something I've been writing about for years now. GM (and Ford, for that matter) has lost a generation of buyers to the import manufacturers. As a matter of fact, there are households out there in America that haven't had a domestic-sourced car in their driveways ever. And it's a situation that is not getting any better, despite the fact that GM's product renaissance is in full swing.

What's the answer?

Well, another touchy-feely ad campaign isn't it. When you don't have an image, or the image you do have is shrouded in such a cloud of negativity that consumers won't even give you the time of day, then something drastic has to be done to help turn the tide.

Ironically, Ford was the first to get the ball rolling in this regard, with its recent and ongoing ad campaign that compares the Fusion to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. This kind of direct comparison advertising would have been unheard of just two years ago, but with a strong product story to tell, Ford is aggressively going after its import competition - and it's frankly refreshing to see for a change.

The rest of the article is here:



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It's amazing how fast a company can go from being the bully to being the underdog. GM couldn't have pulled off a strategy like this in the past, there would have been a huge backlash.

Speaking of backlashes, it will be interesting to see if that backlash Toyota was fearing will happen now...

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GM and Ford FINALLY are starting to realize that they NEED to have GOOD, EFFECTIVE & AGGRESSIVE marketing! I've said it for years.... It's time to go for the throat, it's TIME to kill of be killed! If GM fails, then at least they went down swinging!

I look forward to seeing MORE excellent marketing as GM rolls out MORE top knotch cars!

Speaking of backlashes, it will be interesting to see if that backlash Toyota was fearing will happen now...


Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM

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