NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Lutz: Unhappy with earlier ads, GM changed course

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Lutz: Unhappy with earlier ads, GM changed course

By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer – Tue Sep 15, 6:31 pm ET

HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Bob Lutz, General Motors' new marketing guru, jokingly wants to put a new ending on a much-panned ad featuring a movie director hugging a new Buick LaCrosse sedan and treating it like a model on a beach.

In Lutz's version, a tidal wave would crash over the ad set, washing everything away but the car, which is where the focus should have been, he says.

Vice Chairman Lutz, formerly head of product development, says GM has spent too much time and money on advertising that hasn't changed with widespread perception that the company's vehicles aren't as good as its competitors.

Speaking Tuesday at an event north of Detroit, Lutz said members of the government's auto task force and new board Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. agreed and also pushed for change.

Whitacre, who is featured in the first round of ads, as well as task force members, told GM executives that the company had made great strides in product development and manufacturing quality, "but we were seriously deficient in getting the word out," Lutz said.

GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in July and has received $50 billion in federal aid. The company is 60.8 percent owned by the government, which ousted the old CEO and has been pulling other strings despite statements that it doesn't want to run a car company.

The old ads, Lutz said, showed happy families washing their cars and GM vehicles on winding roads, but did little to change the public perception that the automaker builds inferior vehicles.

Lutz has scrapped the director and other ads in favor of those focused on vehicles. GM kicked off the campaign last weekend with spots featuring Whitacre challenging people to try the company's vehicles and offering a 60-day money-back guarantee. A new wave of ads starting Sept. 21 will compare new GM vehicles directly with competitors.

"Where we are competitively superior we will say so," Lutz said. He spoke at a dealership where he marked the arrival of the new GMC Terrain. It's a midsize crossover vehicle designed to take on the Toyota RAV-4, Honda CRV and the BMW X3.

Lutz said GM will greatly increase its ad spending, making claims that its products are better than models from topflight brands such as Lexus, BMW or Acura.

GM's corporate and brand advertising have gone to a large number of different ad agencies over the years. Leo Burnett currently has Buick and GMC and had Pontiac until GM decided to shed the brand. Campbell-Ewald has had the Chevrolet account for years. Modernista now has Cadillac.

Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said GM's strategy will give more publicity to competitors, but GM has little to lose because it wasn't on the consideration list for many buyers anyway.

"That might at least pique some curiosity," he said. "I think one of the keys with General Motors is getting butts into seats. Once people sample, I think they will be impressed."

GM's newer products are competitive with the best automakers, Nerad said, but some older vehicles are mediocre and may not impress people.

link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090915/ap_on_..._gm_advertising

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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"Campbell-Ewald has had the Chevrolet account for years" would seem to me a great indicator it's time for them to go. In the world of business today, (car or otherwise) you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. Being with one ad agency during the decline GM has seen "for years" means it's time to give somebody else a try.

Lutz: Unhappy with earlier ads, GM changed course

By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer – Tue Sep 15, 6:31 pm ET

HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Bob Lutz, General Motors' new marketing guru, jokingly wants to put a new ending on a much-panned ad featuring a movie director hugging a new Buick LaCrosse sedan and treating it like a model on a beach.

In Lutz's version, a tidal wave would crash over the ad set, washing everything away but the car, which is where the focus should have been, he says.

Vice Chairman Lutz, formerly head of product development, says GM has spent too much time and money on advertising that hasn't changed with widespread perception that the company's vehicles aren't as good as its competitors.

Speaking Tuesday at an event north of Detroit, Lutz said members of the government's auto task force and new board Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. agreed and also pushed for change.

Whitacre, who is featured in the first round of ads, as well as task force members, told GM executives that the company had made great strides in product development and manufacturing quality, "but we were seriously deficient in getting the word out," Lutz said.

GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in July and has received $50 billion in federal aid. The company is 60.8 percent owned by the government, which ousted the old CEO and has been pulling other strings despite statements that it doesn't want to run a car company.

The old ads, Lutz said, showed happy families washing their cars and GM vehicles on winding roads, but did little to change the public perception that the automaker builds inferior vehicles.

Lutz has scrapped the director and other ads in favor of those focused on vehicles. GM kicked off the campaign last weekend with spots featuring Whitacre challenging people to try the company's vehicles and offering a 60-day money-back guarantee. A new wave of ads starting Sept. 21 will compare new GM vehicles directly with competitors.

"Where we are competitively superior we will say so," Lutz said. He spoke at a dealership where he marked the arrival of the new GMC Terrain. It's a midsize crossover vehicle designed to take on the Toyota RAV-4, Honda CRV and the BMW X3.

Lutz said GM will greatly increase its ad spending, making claims that its products are better than models from topflight brands such as Lexus, BMW or Acura.

GM's corporate and brand advertising have gone to a large number of different ad agencies over the years. Leo Burnett currently has Buick and GMC and had Pontiac until GM decided to shed the brand. Campbell-Ewald has had the Chevrolet account for years. Modernista now has Cadillac.

Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said GM's strategy will give more publicity to competitors, but GM has little to lose because it wasn't on the consideration list for many buyers anyway.

"That might at least pique some curiosity," he said. "I think one of the keys with General Motors is getting butts into seats. Once people sample, I think they will be impressed."

GM's newer products are competitive with the best automakers, Nerad said, but some older vehicles are mediocre and may not impress people.

link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090915/ap_on_..._gm_advertising

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"Where we are competitively superior we will say so," Lutz said. He spoke at a dealership where he marked the arrival of the new GMC Terrain. It's a midsize crossover vehicle designed to take on the Toyota RAV-4, Honda CRV and the BMW X3.

Lutz said GM will greatly increase its ad spending, making claims that its products are better than models from topflight brands such as Lexus, BMW or Acura.

The $24,000 Terrain does not compete against the $38,000 X3 at all, and the X3 is a compact, not a midsize. Jeep Liberty is GMC's competition, both ugly squarish things with rubbermaid plastic interiors.

GM needs to make ads that stress the attributes of their products, and not ads that talk about GM the corporation. And less comparisons to other brands. The Detroit 3 was pulling that "our car is as good as the imports but costs thousands less" garbage since the 1980s and it hasn't worked.

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"Campbell-Ewald has had the Chevrolet account for years" would seem to me a great indicator it's time for them to go. In the world of business today, (car or otherwise) you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. Being with one ad agency during the decline GM has seen "for years" means it's time to give somebody else a try.

Campbell Ewald did

, which I thought was one of the more brilliant ones GM has done recently.
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They should hire Mercedes' ad people. GM ads don't build brand image, or create any emotion or soul. They just make claims like we get 1 mpg highway better than Camry, or Traverse has more cargo space than a Honda Pilot. And a Honda Odyssey has more cargo space than Traverse, so what. GM' brands don't stand for anything, no focus, and the marketing is the same way. This is how you do it:

When I watch the first one I am thinking Mercedes is innovative and engineers super safe cars. And the second makes me think this car will never let me down, even if I get in a wreck at 50 mph I'll walk away. Merc has tons of these ads, all over the world.

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Here's hoping Bob is able to maintain this leverage throughout his tenure, and not just the short-term.

They should hire Mercedes' ad people. GM ads don't build brand image, or create any emotion or soul. They just make claims like we get 1 mpg highway better than Camry, or Traverse has more cargo space than a Honda Pilot. And a Honda Odyssey has more cargo space than Traverse, so what. GM' brands don't stand for anything, no focus, and the marketing is the same way.

I don't think the target market's for the Malibu and Traverse are concerned with brand heritage, or emotion. I actually think the cargo area comparison is bang on for the Traverse's market because it's a family hauler and families want to put as much junk in the trunk as possible, and make sure the kids won't be kicking the front seats. The Toyota advertisements up my way are out of the same playbook: bringing up fuel economy, resale, and reliability. That's exactly what people in the family market want to hear; any heritage or soul is just a fringe benefit.

Edited by Captainbooyah
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Too often GM has failed even mentioned the cars name in the TV spots. They spend so much time pushing the brand and not the models. I have seen them do this same thing for Chevy in the past.

A good example right now is the present Saturn spot.

You have the Saturn rep telling of 5 models and they show 3 models in the spot. All are in black and do not stand out.

What are the 3 models they show? What are the other 2 they don't show. I know we all can name them here but what about the average normal car buyer who only has Civic and Camry on the brain? How is he to go ask for these vehicles if he does not know it's name of even what it looks like.

I know the Astra had a few other issues but their marketing was a mess. Seldom was it's name ever used in Saturn advertising and today they don't even show the car. How are they to unload the left over 08's if people don't even know what it looks like?

Also they need to make marketing a car more than something you do in the first 6 months on the market. I saw the Malibu everywhere and in the first 6 months and after that it fades more every month. I note most of the the imports push their models through out the life of the body style. I will excuse this in the past for the lack of money but today that should not be an issue.

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Campbell Ewald did
, which I thought was one of the more brilliant ones GM has done recently.

That is my first time seeing that ad, I agree it is very good.

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I liked the Then and Now ads, except I don't really like them advertising GM the company, people do not buy GM cars, they buy Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. Most people have a negative opinion of GM and their executives, I think it is best if they don't mention it. The Led Zepplin Cadillac ads I liked.

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Simple, just modernize these:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyYq4_3fw2s&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyYq4_3fw2s&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyYq4_3fw2s&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urSrabCcWsY&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urSrabCcWsY&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urSrabCcWsY&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

The first two are good on points but what are the models? If you are not a GM fan and do not know the models on sight this ad does little. It would be like flashing alot of Nissian models at me that I really do no know much about or care enough to already know much about. It sells features on name less cars, many of the freatures the car I own now already have.

The 3rd one just remids me of all the old rusted out Cadiallac I grew up with. I saw few of these new and when I did see thme they were old and rusted out. Just my impression.

The third one I did like. I think it is more important to show the older Caddy few of us have ever seen let alone in poor condition. I saw a couple V16's yesterday at a car show that were sitting with Rolls, Dusenbergs and Benz. These cars are so much more than any thing post 1957. That was when Cadillac really was the standard of the world.

Heck at the Show I was at I think it was a 1907 Cadillac that was there unrestored and still drivable. Just kind of neat to see.

Edited by hyperv6
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of all the ads olds posted the 4th was the only one that was interesting but as mentioned doesn't give you any models it sells that Caddilac has been around for a long time is that a good thing? Probably not when you want to sell to the younger "think they are hip" crowd.

The other 3 just show old stuff and new cars driving which do we want to sell "old brand" again? And this probably didnt help GM since every one of those ad's showed SUV's and Trucks. when the fuel efficient push was beginning.

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