toesuf94

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

75 posts in this topic

Well, I have read it here a million times, and heard it bitched about over and over by the GM fans around me. After seeing Chrysler's conundrum about how to launch their new minivans, I thought it would be a great thread to see what the brains here at C & G would come up with to better promote the GM products we all know and love. What changes would you like to see in the marketing? ( I personally think the marketing sucks all around - sorry ) Hell, I am starting to LIKE the Tundra ads because the actually show a vehicle doing something it is supposedly designed for. Compare that to a guy looking at his watch one minute then the bezel flies out the window and becomes part of the GMC Acadia. Conceptually interesting, but tells me NOTHING about the truck. How many mom and dad's out there know that the Acadia and Outlook are achieving 20 MPG in mixed driving?

So, we have seen you all design what you think the future product should look like, and what we all would like to see under the hoods...let's see you sell it. What are your ideas to move the people into the showrooms? Maybe we will get lucky and GM will take notice of the good ideas and run with them. Pick any car in the GM lineup and give it a pitch. How would YOU sell it to John Q. Public in 30-60 seconds? In print? What things are you aching to have GM say to the world that are just NOT getting said?

Edited by toesuf94
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Ok, I'll bite. I know you are probably looking for more particulars, but I'm more into a theme:

GENERAL THEME: Every individual car advertisement should emphasize a strength of a vehicle. "American Revolution"? Great tagline, but what does that tell me about the car? Flying cars? Grabbed my attention, but again, it doesn't tell me anything about the car. The Saturn Aura/sharing the award with owners? Gives you a warm fuzzy, but it doesn't tell you why I should consider the car. In general, SELL THE DAMN CAR based on it's strenghts.

I should be seeing Chevrolet adds touting that their full-size trucks and SUV's get better gas mileage than their Ford/Dodge counterparts. I'd advertise that the pickups have a larger payload. I'd advertise the VARIETY of engine-sizes in the Silverado. Don't want a wattered down 4.7l or an over-the-top 5.7l? We've got a happy medium: the 5.3l. It isn't that damn hard. GM's got some quality products -- but you've got to educate the consumer on that. Ford touches on it with it's Fusion comparison advertisements. It lets people know that OTHER people repeatedly chose the Fusion over their Toyota/Honda counterparts. It doesn't highlight any particular area, but it leads you to the conclusion that under scrutiny, the Ford not only stacks up well, but it wins more often than not.

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EXACTLY the stuff I am looking for! And you hit the nail on the head. Flying cars...again - neat concept, but tells me nothing about the cars in the ad! I have not looked, but is there a mouseprint line that says "cars will not fly under new warranty?"

And you are right on about the Fusion ads..."goes head to head against Camry and Accord and beats them!" Precisely. Nail on the head. We may see this with the Camry at the Chevrolet dealers during the Malibu intros...that will be in the trenches...not necessarily in media.

Come on people, there have to be some creative minds out there! I am not asking for story boards or Mac studio productions of your concepts...just let's hear the ideas.

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I didn't intend for the msg to end with a theme, but I had to shorten it down to that 'cause I had a conference call I needed to attend to. Anyways; here's some ideas on Chevrolet:

BRAND MARKETING:

Chevrolet is the family brand. It's got tremendous value. The part I'd play up on? It's been around - and it'll be around. Chevrolet should pimp that 100,000 mile warranty. You wanted dependability. We're giving it to you. We're so confident in our vehicles, we've put our name to a 100,000 mile warranty.

VEHICLE MARKETING:

Silverado. It's an all-around winner. You want payload? You need towing? You want gas mileage? Stylish exterior wrapped around an award-winning interior. The truck of the year is the right truck for you, no matter how you want to configure yours. Fantasy segment: here's our camshaft (insert picture), here's our competitors (show camshaft in two pieces).

Tahoe/Suburban: Gives you it all. Tows your boat while hauling your family around. Everyday gas mileage is segment best. First hybrid, no-sacrifice SUV.

Cobalt/Malibu/Impala/Equinox. I can't advertise their strengths because what does the Cobalt/Malibu/Impala offer you better than the competition? Nice products, don't get me wrong, but does any of them have a segment-leading or segment-busting advantage to them? Sorry, but GM needs to perfect the product before you can put out advertising that plays-to-a-strength. Sounds harsh, but I'm calling it like I see it.

Camaro. Get's your blood racing - and the rest of your body too. It's as fast as it looks. As quick off the line as they are off our lots. Bring back the "We've got a mean streak" slogan of old. The Camaro has heritage and legacy is spades. Play advertising against it. Make people long for their youth!

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I like what Mercury does. Hot thin chicks peddling cars. Do you think anyone cares what the car is?

Making any claims of any sort regarding fuel economy is not doable because people will sue and say, "I'm not getting advertised mpg". They can tout epa numbers but nothing else.

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GMC Sierra - Play up the now-familiar "Professional Grade" theme with a head-to-head comparison of the Sierra and the Tundra. Stage all the same stunts Toyota's been putting on with a Sierra 1500, then up the ante: "Now, let's see the Tundra tow this 16,500-lb trailer - oh, wait. Toyota doesn't have a heavy-duty version of their pickup. Of course, GMC does [rolling out the Sierra 3500, pulling the aforementioned trailer] - and we've had one for over 90 years now."

Chevrolet Malibu (the '08, that is) - I read somewhere that Chevy was telling its dealers to put a Camry in their showrooms for buyers to be able to make easy comparisons with the new Malibu. I can only hope they do - because the Malibu, from what I've seen, puts the Camry's interior to shame. Never mind the powertrain.

Buick Enclave - More power and more usable torque than either Lexus RX 350 or Lincoln MKX, and with the third-row seat neither of those vehicles offers. And more room than BMW X5 or Land Rover LR3, at a cost that's thousands less - but with all the legendary quality and luxury you've come to know from Buick. Get Tiger Woods to say all that (in an ad that's not just being played during a golf tourney) and you'll have something.

Pontiac G8 - Do it just like they did in the 1960s. Stage a no-holds-barred performance contest between the G8 GT and the Dodge Charger R/T - dragstrip, high-speed oval, road course, skidpad. And of course, the daily grind. And make sure to mention the fact that you can't get the Charger with a manual transmission at any price.

Saturn Astra - Start the ad with the familiar Honda-esque image of a Civic, in profile, in front of a plain gray backdrop. "If you're looking for the best small car on the market, look no further." Then roll in the Astra and park it at the jaunty front-quarter angle. "If, on the other hand, you want something more than that, then here's your car."

Edited by Duncan
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this will be a little off-topic but, one thing i'd do (that i'm sure won't get much respect here :P) would be to produce a series of infomercials. some cars and trucks are just too good for 30 seconds of air time. and, if ronco can afford airtime, GM certainly can. now, stop groaning. i'm not talking about about Billy Mays shilling product ("it's TURBO-charged!"). these would be of high visual and aural production quality.

perhaps "infomercials" is the wrong term. "informational featurette" might be more suitable.

some key points of the featurettes:

  • use HD cameras. anyone who has seen movies like Collateral knows that the depth of detail is greater and more visually appealing. optimizing the featurettes for HD home A/V equipment will make the ads, and thus the products, more impressive to owners of such equipment.
  • aim for high-end sound for owners of high-end equipment. accurately reproduce interior sound levels, sound system and exhaust notes in the home.
  • use a variety of well-known, applicable people as the host for each car's show. if the ad is for a performance car, use a Danica Patrick. if it is a family sedan/CUV and you are targeting women, use a Melissa Gilbert. hosts should not only be recognizable, but well-spoken with voices suitable for voice-overs of scenes and be percieved as reflecting the character of the targeted buyer. Paris Hilton need not apply for the malibu spot.
  • use slick, Top Gear-style editing. make the ad appear to be more of a film than a commercial. ads should obviously differ from the style of normal TV spots.
  • each ad or episode should share common begining and ending sequences like any real TV show. the begining should feature clips of each vehicle that are featured in the series with the final few seconds focused on the vehicle highlighted in that particular ad. or, the intro could be a montage about GM (history of technological advancements, racing, achievements etc.). the ending sequence could include film credits, a GM or vehicle montage and a list of dealers customized to the market.
  • when possible, film real-life owners espousing the virtues of the vehicle.
  • most importantly, ads should highlight every advantage of the car over its competitors. features (On-Star, sound system, needle-sweeps at start-up, etc.)should be shown in operation as should trunks being packed and front/rear passengers riding in comfort. recreate situations owners will experience. take the kids to soccer or visit Home Depot in an Acadia. work a farm or go four-wheeling in a Silverado. carpool to work or visit grandma's in a Malibu. Value should figure prominently. MSRP should be mentioned rarely or only at the end of the ad along with prompts to visit the dealer for a proper test drive.
the films could be used many ways.

  • a standard late-night/weekend infomercial.
  • posted to blogs and video sites like youtube.
  • made available for viewing at brand and local dealer websites.
  • included as a special feature on DVDs et.al. that feature GM products.
  • available on disc with brochures at dealers
  • run as a complete series on cable TV stations such as Spike, Speed Channel, Lifetime, etc.
i realize that, in part, some of this has been done before. but, i've never seen it as a whole. and, that last bit above is what i'd really like to see. a televised, episodic GM Autoshow In Motion. GM has just about enough excellent vehicles to support a 26 episode series. spring and summer episodes could feature vehicles debuting in the fall.

anyway, i'll shut up about that before it gets really long.

to answer your question, i'd run regular TV ads in pairs. i'd buy two spots in a 30 minute or hour long TV show.

the first spot would focus on the style and image of the car. i'll use the aura as an example. imagine a clean, black aura slowly creeping up the aisles of a crowded mall parking lot populated by a sea of blandly colored (beige) and road-dirty import sedans. shots intercut from unhappy and bored looking people entering and exiting their cars, stopping what they are doing and looking at the aura, viewed from inside and outside of the aura to shots of the sunlight gleaming off different bits of the aura as it rolls by them. there would be a noticable change in expression of the import owners. now, they shouldn't go from morose to OMGWTFLOL!!!11, but there should be a subtle look of recognition and possible envy. you get the sense that the aura has caused them to pause their life for a few seconds that another car would not provoke. at the end, the camera maintains an external view of the car but halts its follwing motion and instead pans to follow the car as it continues traveling down the aisle assuming the viewpoint of the import owner. then you state the name of the car and your tagline for the car and its brand, "Stand Out... Rethink American." or whatever.

that idea probably sucks, but it gives you an idea of what i mean. first you sell the image and style, the feeling. this hopefully grabs the viewers attention so that later in the show when the second part of the ad pair comes up, you've evoked an interest in the car.

in the second spot, you list the car features and attributes and MSRP. to continue the same aura example, you might show the car parked with the owner talking to people that have come up to him to inquire about it. this happens. a lot. trust me. either the owner's voice explains the selling points as he talks to the curious or you can use a voiceover. intercut scenes of the people looking at the car with more shots of the interior/exterior when applicable. for example, if the owners is talking about interior comfort/ergonomics/features, the interior is shown. repeat the name, MSRP and tagline.

using a pair of commercials linked together by a single show in this way and running each one once is better, i think, than trying to cram all the info into one 30-second spot and showing it twice. the first spot doesn't necessarily need to be a full 30-seconds, either.

i'd use a pairing like that anytime there is a new or significantly revamped model.

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!. get top notch photographers and present GM vehicles better in advance reveals, ads, websites and brochures...most are so bad....and choose the best body color for that particular vehicle so it shows for maximum effect

2. actually show the vehicle in ads rather than some abstract concept...example the Cadillac ads, one photo shows up close some lame actor in the window of an Escalade, see nothing of the vehicle...dumbest thing I've seen.

3. create some mystery in the ads, not so many words, keep it simple, minimal, make consumers lust after the vehicle...example, a Corvette ad, just the word 'LUST' and the sexiest photo of this car, all dark and moody

4. maybe do a throwback to times when ads were done by illustrators and showed an upbeat, optimistic view of American life

5. use humor sometimes, nothing catches my eye more than humor in ads.

Most ads from most manufacturers are so boring, including GM.

Edited by HarleyEarl
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How about testimonials from GM loyalists - real, down to earth people. I know GM has a truck magazine that they send a few times a year to Silverado owners, etc. -but that is only preaching to the choir. Find some farmer from Oklahoma who has a '87 C/k with 400,000 miles (even if it is a rust bucket - it would lend to the credibility) and show him/her next to their new GM whatever and they can explain why they are GM loyal. This speaks to the heart and proves to those import humpers that there are a lot of old GM vehicles still rattling around, plus if a spot was done with a '70 Monte Carlo, for example, it would speak to the heritage as well - which is something that Toyota cannot claim. The ads should harken to the glory days of styling AND show that the vehicles were built to last. Nothing wrong with a family who has a '69 Malibu in their driveway and a'05, for example.

Building on what was said above, Cadillac might show a hot new CTS in, say, red, sitting in a sea of dark grey BMWs and Mercedes. Hone in on the American loner, cowboy image of being different and going it alone. Around here, the race card could be played in a subtle way, by showing mostly Asians and South Asians driving or getting into their foreign vehicles. Although it is important to have a "racially diverse" ad in this PC world, were I in charge of advertising, I would call a spade a spade and show what kind of loyalty "new Canadians" or "new Americans" are showing by driving their foreign cars.

I also wouldn't mind seeing some meaty attack ads that show exactly how many jobs are supported in North America by GM, sort of like along the lines that GM did in Ohio when Honda bragged about how many plants they had in the U.S.

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Pontiac- Needs the most work here. I can recall the late 80's and early 90's when Pontiac had some kick-ass T.V. commercials. They got your blood boiling I recall the 1990 Project Bonneville, that I have someplace saved on my pc, they were selling a 165hp FWD sedan and it still was exciting. Bring back the "We Build Excitement" or I'd even settle for "Fuel for the Soul". What is the lame theme they have now? (Someone please answer that...) Bring back the "Wide Track" theme and make commercials show the dramatic lines of cars. Talk about performance and vary your use of music.

Chevy- In the past 2-3 years I have seen the best ad's come from Chevrolet (and Caddy) heres why. I love the "Our Country, Our Truck", it settles so well with mid-western honest hard working folk. Ad to that the fact they can still say MT Truck of the Year. I love the Ameircan Revolution theme, they have stuck with it now for 3 years, it is gaining some momentum. This is a great way to get people excited about products, also the new "People who love cars love Chevy..." Is so clever, I think they might be on something, and all the different images of people young and old with Chevy's. They even had a clever spot for the Impala. I recall seeing an Impala only commercial, on the net with wrappers and everything else and a speeding black SS through tree's. That is what people want to see, make old men driving Camry LE's and Avalon XL's think why did I buy that? Ironically enough they have a 63 Impala 409 SS setting next to it. That is a problem, I think young people are latching on well to Chevy's and all GM products in general and it is the baby-boomers whom keep trading Buicks or Chevy's for a Toyota or Lexus. They are getting customers young and some times loosing them old. That is just what I have seen first-hand. I see so many young and wealthy families in Lucerne CXL's and CXS's it amazes me, I mean like 30 something males, with good jobs and blonde (nice looking) house-wifes. Sitting next to the Lucerne is an RX-350, that needs to be a Tahoe or Enclave! I have seen a good Impala ad on fuel economy with a sliver LT.

Buick- I am all for bringing back some of the old "magic" into there ad's. They certainly aren't what they used to be and the products Lucerne and Enclave for instance just keep getting better! I want to here "The Great American Road in a brand new Buick!" again, just like Pontiac they have lost there advertising mojo. I have already forgot the new Buick slogan, that is how ineffective it is, and I am a car guy. Bring back a GNX and a Regal with a Riv and the new Park Avenue get the revolutuion going at Buick already. The Lucerne gave me faith in Buick and GM as a whole and the Enclave keeps me pumped and excited for what is next at Buick.

Cadillac- Keep rolling ads with "Life Liberty and the Pursuit", those are good and keep reinforcing the image of luxury. I would fancy seeing a few more main-stream ads on the CTS and DTS. The SRX ad morning ritual and shine were very clever along with the various Escalade ones. The DTS has the around and 71 and the dinner, the only excellent one is the new job. The other two are just okay, I am glad they are being more hip but something needs to be done also. Other than that Caddy is good.

GMC- PUSH THE PROFESSIONAL GRADE! I can't say that enough, and stick with that slogan it has been good for them!

Saturn- Rethink American and putting Accords and Camrys next to the Aura, is PERFECT. Then saying NA car of the year. That is exactly what I am talking about, rethink bling and all of that, it is like what Chevy and Caddy did. Only they did years earlier. I love the direction GM is taking Saturn, and plan to see many more on the road!

Saab- Keep pushing the "Born from Jets..." and buy a few slots so people actual know they exist and show them the impressive line-up of unqiue cars they have.

I love the idea of doing a new type of features on GM cars that are longer than 30 seconds on a new GM website, with acess to high quality (good photos) unlike some on the Wieck and printable and save-able ads and posters, along with wallpapers and cool videos with famous people!

Edited by gm4life
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I posted this idea a while ago... had an idea for the launch of the Cobalt. Might work for other new ones as well.

Get someone on the street, preferably Toyota or Honda owners, and ask them to test drive a new GM vehicle, only to have the vehicle taped up like a camo'ed vehicle to conceal its real identity. After they test drive it, ask their opinion about the car. Then afterwards, peel off the tape on the badges, to show them it's actually a new Chevy, or Pontiac, or Buick, etc.

I think it's a way to get conquest sales.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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The obvious answer is to hire Buickman as Vice President of North American Marketing.

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Tony, What happens if they hate the car??? I guess that does not make it to the TV commercial?? After reading the late test JD Powell reports I think they should first get a better initial Build Quality. Then promote the heck out of it. I wonder if Ford will do that.

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Tony, What happens if they hate the car??? I guess that does not make it to the TV commercial?? After reading the late test JD Powell reports I think they should first get a better initial Build Quality. Then promote the heck out of it. I wonder if Ford will do that.

Well, of course, there's going to be a little bit of skew. After all it's advertising.

I think it's still better than what GM used to do, like say the G6 V6 has more power than the 2.5L I4 Altima.

And speaking initial build quality, GM is already up there.

http://email.gmcanada.com/corpdb/cachq/pre...f5?opendocument

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The advertising would be so much easier if each division had a full line up great vehicles. Here are some of my ideas:

Rip off of an older Ford ad:

New Silverado and New Tundra are getting ready to pull boats out of the water. Hot guy with hot girlfriend in the Silvy. Average Joe with no girlfriend in the Tundra. Silverado goes first.... show a line about the automatic locking rear diff that helps with towing even without the 4WD engaged. Tundra tries the same thing and spins his left rear tire. Joe looks frustrated and tries again..... this time you hear a loud boom and the hood on the Tundra busts up a little with smoke coming out.

Hot girlfriend looks back and says "Oh SNAP!"

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Chevy needs the old "Heartbeat of America" ads back on-line. Modernize the song to some degree, of course, but since the division is hot right now, and retro is working at Chevy, appeal to the 30 and 40 year olds like myself who grew up on those ads. The "American Pie" spots get somewhat annoying if you are a fan of the song. I'd start teasing us with the 09 Camaro. If they will let the new Transformer movie use something that looks like it (along with what looked like a '75 of '76 Camaro) then build it up. GM is turning 100 years old in 2008, maybe a sort of 'looking back, looking forward' type of ad -- it would work for all the divisions. Show more Impala SS, less Cobalt. Advertise like crazy the 08' Malibu. I'd take on the stupid Toyota Tundra ads with some sort of spin on it. The Tundra sales are sucking up the place, and I'm thrilled with that. Chevy needs to show some American pride and remind us of what we grew up with. People are starting to notice Chevy now -- I work with a bunch of young 20 year olds and the boys are all VERY excited about the upcoming Camaro. One kid is already saving up to buy one. They may drive Camrys and Civics, but show them something cool, modern yet retro and fast and they will take notice. I think the Heartbeat of America ads would fire up interest.

Pontiac simply needs to advertise more. You never see commercials from Pontiac on any channel I watch. The "We Build Excitement" commercials were very well remembered by people, I can't recall any new Poncho commercial. They are selling G6s very well, I'd tell everyone about those 250 HP engines. I'd show the Solstice more -- I'd hype up about the new rear-drive Grand Prix (sorry, "G8", and that is another thing -- lose the stupid letter/number names and go back to real names).

Buick is in very sad shape, at least here in the US. In China it is hot as can be. Buick needs new blood in it's veins. It needs a small coupe, it needs a rear drive Grand National with the bad boy Darth Vader looks and a turbo engine to match. Bring back some lost names like LeSabre and Skylark.

GMC and Saturn to me are focused right now, Saturn's Toyota/ Honda showroom gimmick is interesting. I hope it works.

Cadillac needs some more rock in their ads, some hip Old School group, maybe even some more Zeppelin, something that builds the power and 'coolness' of the Caddy.

Saab -- who really cares? GM will sell it off in a few years, it doesn't seem like part of GM, the cars are ugly for the most part and nobody in the midwest cares a bit for them.

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I will only say that I've had a beautiful ad campaign in mind for Oldsmobile. But, clearly, that's useless at this stage.

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You happen to see many Saab's in Madison, WI. I don't know why but you do. I think Chevy needs to keep pushing the American card?

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well what they need to do... is stare the problem in its face...

its the only way to overcome the objection... that chevy lost its ways...

its a sales trick... to show the goods and the bads of every aspect of the deal... and if the problem is truley the perception of quality in the product... advertisement must focus on overcoming just that...

they proved that price was an objective with the employee program... now they must overcome the bigger jump... people can be lured into walmart for the cheaper vehicle... but luring them back out and putting them into a nicer set of jeans... or whatever... is much more difficult... but companies do it...

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Ads definitly needs to be for aggressive!

GM needs to have comeback to the tundra ads with the "big brake rotors" ooh... thats what I look for in a truck! Now that the tundra had the camshaft problems GM needs to expose it and finish off the tundra.

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Bring back Caddy's Breakthrough ads, but use The Doors' Break on Through To The Other Side instead of zeppelin and focus on this being Cadillac's next phase.

Bring back the 'Like a Rock' ads for the Silverado.

Bring back 'See The USA in Your Chevrolet'.

Bring back 'We build Excitement-Pontiac'.

Saturn-more aggressive comparison ads, but I think they blew it with their new Logo. I thought they were going to change from red to that cool blue color they use on their Steering Wheels now-that would have been much much better than Red.

Buick-not sure what would help here besides better product.

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How about this:

Want a pickup that doesn't lose it's paint in a few weeks of ownership, gets better gas mileage, keeps it's camshafts in the engine, has a rear door window that you can actually see out of, has a normal looking dash designed for humans that costs less and has a better warrenty than the Toyota Tundra? Here is your truck... The all new 2007 Silverado from Chevrolet, a real truck for real work.

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I'd like to see some GM world ads. Show all the different brands from around the world that GM makes and say something like "General Motors brands, out to capture the world and also your heart" show people from all over the world driving GM brands, or "General Motors the name behind the brands you love" then show all the brand name logos in front of a silhouetted large GM Logo. Also I would like to see some ads talking about the different divisions, when they were established and how long and reliable their vehicles have been in all that time. Teach people some history!

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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