By on October 16, 2006

2557222.jpgIn 1991, Italian clothing maker Benneton released a controversial ad campaign. Huge billboards and full page magazine ads displayed rows of crosses in an American military cemetery, a priest kissing a nun on the lips, a black woman breast feeding a white baby and other images designed to shock even the most jaded sensibilities. In 1992, Benneton upped the ante with photos of a dying Aids victim, a Kalashnikov-wielding African guerrilla holding a human leg bone, a boat overcrowded with Albanians, a group of African refugees, a weeping family contemplating the bloody body of a Mafioso and two Indians caught in a Calcutta flood. “Reality advertising” had arrived. And now it’s here, courtesy of, of all companies, Chevrolet.

The ad in question is “Our Country, Our Truck.” The 60-second music video cum ad features a montage of historical and manufactured images, including civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks sitting on a bus, Martin Luther King mouthing “I have a dream” in front of the Washington monument, a half-naked peace protester clutching a US flag modified with a peace symbol, a recently resigned President Nixon waving goodbye from a Marine helicopter, a raging wildfire, a hurricane ripping the roof off of a house, post-Katrina flooding, the twin floodlight light tribute at Ground Zero, weary firefighters (geddit?) and, oh yeah, a new Silverado.

Needless to say, after the ad was aired, a number of viewers and more than a few media commentators took GM to task for using images of disaster and political strife to sell pickup trucks. Needless to say, Chevrolet’s spin machine was warmed-up and ready to go. "We were trying to strike that balance between provocative and not stepping over the line," Chevrolet Advertising Director Kim Kosak told Automotive News. "A brand like Chevrolet can do it. If you used those images to hawk a $199 deal that would be reprehensible," Kosak added, oblivious to the old joke that ends “We already know what you are; we’re just haggling over price.”

When asked WTF they were thinking, the edgy ad guys responsible for the spot were even, um, edgier. According to Bill Ludwig, Chief Creative Officer for the Campbell-Ewald ad agency, "If you want to make a statement that rings true with the majority of people, you are going to piss off some people.” This, we can presume, was a large part of Ludwig’s goal. In case you missed it, “There are a lot of cynical people out there who don't react well to this, and a lot of people who will never get behind the wheel of a pickup. So let them get into their Volvo sedans and complain about this spot that they see as exploitive. This is not for them."

Never mind the ad’s subtext, clock Ludwig’s anti-Volvo agenda. Following GM’s recent hiring of right wing commentator Sean Hannity for a national radio promotion, this kind of barely concealed blue state hate is designed to attract pickup buyers with an “us vs. them” political mentality. Paranoid? Then what’s with John Cougar Mellencamp’s musical tribute to the idea of “stand and fight” under an image of a Vietnam battlefield? How reactionary is that? And you’ve got to wonder about the politics of a man who uses death, disaster and turmoil to sell a truck calling his critics “cynical.”

All of which brings us back to the central question: does controversy sell pickups? If Benneton can sell sweaters by showing a black stallion humping a white mare (as you can see, I’m not making this up), surely Chevy can sell a light truck or two by reminding us of the tragedy of 911. Ah, but there is a crucial difference between the two campaigns. As you’d expect from the company that brought us the front wheel-drive Impala SS, Chevy wimped out. Benneton’s ads were/are designed to confront viewers, to make them question their values and preconceptions. Chevy’s “Our Country, Our Truck” was/is designed to reinforce the traditional pickup truck buyer's (if no one else’s) values and preconceptions.

GM’s ad guy’s right: for Chevy’s core audience, the “Our Country, Our Truck” ad is about as confrontational as The National Enquirer. Even the atomic bomb explosion removed from the final cut would not have asked any questions of the average pickup truck buyer’s psyche. Sure, the ad exploits a few uncomfortable moments of our national history for commercial gain, but it’s not as if they showed a bunch of flag-waving Chevy owners pushing a non-union made Toyota Tundra off a cliff.

Once again, GM shows it just, can’t, quite, get, there. Like the people in charge of designing and building their products, the execs responsible for Chevrolet’s advertising don’t understand that fortune doesn’t favor the semi-brave. If you’re gonna build a V8 performance car, it's gotta be rear wheel-drive. If you're gonna piss people off, you gotta really piss them off. As it stands now, the only people who are going to be angry about this Silverado thing are GM’s shareholders.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

100 Comments on “Chevrolet’s Silverado TV Ad: Our Country, Your Truck, They’re Wimps...”


  • avatar
    a_d_y_a

    I cannot believe that you wrote an editorial on an advertisment. It is just marketing. You have contributed to their ad campaign by writing about it. There is nothing like bad publicity.

    Farago on ads. I cannot believe it. Shakes his head.

  • avatar
    1984

    The fact that you are even talking about this add at all (good or bad) means it worked perfectly.

  • avatar

    What, you don’t think the Chevy ad deserves “the oxygen of publicity?” C’mon guys, it’s a car ad. We’re a car site. Deal with it. I did.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    Wow, I haven’t seen this ad but I have to echo your “WTF?” I only just got around to seeing the “flying car” ads this weekend.

    Maybe there’s a subtle genius behind these ads. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. And we are talking about the ads, aren’t we – which is a significant victory for the advertiser, isn’t it?

    As with the Benetton ads (and other similar types of “shock” advertising) the purpose may simply be to generate a “buzz.” As to whether it will sell trucks, who knows?

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Shrug. Most white horses start out black.

  • avatar
    1984

    but it’s not as if they showed a bunch of flag-waving Chevy owners pushing a non-union made Toyota Tundra off a cliff.

    Actually that would make a sweet commercial… ;-)

    Toyota is trying to wave the American flag also in their ads but… good luck with that… yawn…

  • avatar
    Luther

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

    EDIT: “Patriotism is the second to last refuge of a scoundrel”.

    Perhaps.

  • avatar

    I thought it was Chapter 11.

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    RF you’re working yourself up over nothing, deal with it as you said, well you haven’t. As you said its a car ad and this is a car site so why write you’re editorial then? if thats so you better start banning your advertisers, but then you wont have a site to air your grievances on, would you…..

    As said by adya and 1984 it got you talking about it, if you talked about it, others will and in a weird circle of love it means people will be talking about chevy, whichever way you look at it is a good thing. its publicity will grow as people who aren’t interested will probably remain so but the ones they are targetting or the ones on the fence will get strangely attracted to it. Its advertising its done its job.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    I agree with Farago (about the ads; I don’t have a problem with a FWD Impala SS). Ads do matter, and bad publicity CAN be, well, bad for an automaker. Dumb, da, dumb, dumb.

  • avatar

    Regardless of the “it’s got us talking” success of the ad, remember that we’re not the ad’s core audience. I think the flag-waving warm fuzzy thing is both a snooze and a major marketing misstep.

    What exactly was wrong with Chevy’s “Like a Rock” campaign? The company spent years and millions of dollars emphasizing their product’s toughness. Now they chuck that away for what, a bit of flag waving? Puh-lease.

    Although truck buyers may be patriotic, surely patriotism isn’t why they buy a particular pickup truck. The Rock campaign gave people a reason to choose a Chevy over a Ford. It made the car the star.

    This ad attempts to forge a subconscious connection between ‘Merican values and the Silverado. Even if it works, it still begs the question: why is the Silverado America’s pickup truck as opposed to a Ford F150?

    Interestingly, the first vehicle shown in the ad isn’t even a pickup (methinks it’s an Impala from the 50’s). These guys simply don’t know how to nurture a brand. Period.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Robert Farago: Following GM’s recent hiring of right wing commentator Sean Hannity for a national radio promotion, this kind of barely concealed blue state hate is designed to attract pickup buyers with an “us vs. them” political mentality.

    But how does this fit in with the use of John Mellencamp and his music? He is well known for his leftist/populist beliefs.

  • avatar
    blautens

    Robert, you’re totally missing the meat of this ad. I think the far more controversial issue is ditching Bob Seeger for John Mellencamp, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    ClutchSlip

    I think that it is perfectly acceptable to comment on Chevy’s recent advertising direction. Why not question the tastefulness of an ad such as the Chevy’s Silverado ad? After
    one of the site’s main threads involved following the “plight” of our domestic auto industry.

    It is also worth asking whether the ad’s pandering to the “red state crowd” is a direction Chevy should be taking. Presumably Chevy (and by extension GM) is still trying to sell family sedans and compact cars to less partisan folks.

    One additional note: Slate’s Ad Report Card column has additional commentary on the ad discussed above.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2151143/

  • avatar

    I’m not sure of Mr. Mellencamp’s controversy quotient. He strikes me as being in the same camp as Bruce Springsteen, whose music is constantly being misinterpreted as unabashedly patriotic.

    The self-questioning nature of the song gets a lot of play from the intelligenstsia, but who really listens? Has anyone ever actually read the lyrics to Born in the USA? What the Hell kind of anthem is that?

  • avatar
    phattie

    Its sad to see GM trying to cash in on the 3000 lives lost on 9/11 … maybe they’ll sell 10-20 trucks per person?

  • avatar
    mikey

    I love the ad.In Canada the cable companys divert us to the canadian feed so we d,ont get to see U.S.A comercials.I will search my N.F.L. package just to get an American feed,with the added benifit of USA beer and car adds.
    This ad is what makes America great.In Canada our nanny state would never let it on the air.
    You got in a nut shell the VOLVO crowd aint gonna buy a pick up,Chevy or otherwise.
    As far as pushing the TOYOTA off a cliff BRILIANT!

  • avatar
    1984

    The leftist/populist must be awfully insecure if they feel this add flies in there face. Trucks are for (red state) rednecks?… hmmm…What else can we stereo type while we are at it? I don’t think we have picked on paraplegic people yet!

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Mellancamp was a bizzarre choice if they are trying to appeal to red states.

    He seems to have gone to the Cindy Sheehan School of Politics.

    As for the flying car ad. GM must not have a very high opinion of its potential customers. No doubt they are aiming for the recepients of the “Credit for anyone with a heartbeat” Program.

    Either that or they’ve deferred their “creative” to a grade-school comewhere.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    In Canada our nanny state would never let it on the air.

    I don’t know about that. Some of the Canadian commercials (i.e. Labatt Blue) were too edgy to show in the US.

  • avatar
    WhateverJustCrashIt

    I cant believe we are sitting here arguing over whether writing about the ad is a good idea or not. For crying out loud peaple, this ad was about as stupid as the proverbial hot-babe-in-front-of-cooler beer ad campaigns. It reeks of mediocrity and it festers in its own predictability. When you can’t push your cool aid on non cult members, you better get another flavor for those that are in the club.

    And let us not forget that ads are all about image and generating an emotion. Thats why some adds go out of their way to be offensive. Fine, get mad. Get angry. Get upset. But you sure will remember who we are, and when you talk about your moral outrage at work over the water cooler, you better remember in the back of your head, thats exactly what the ad wanted you to do. Thats where viral ad campaigns are come from. VW with its “Obey your Fast” and “Safe Happens” ads are what draws people in to the showrooms. Whens the last time you saw anything creative from Ford or GM? If I hear that damn, “Im a ford truck man, thats all I drive” song one more time, I might hurl my breakfast.

    Robert is right. The ad clearly shows that GM unwilling to take any risk at all – even in something as expendable as a marketing campaign. GM and Detroit want to take the safe and secure route in everything they do and whine when they don’t get the results that others risk everything for.

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    It’s important to note that the Benneton approach failed. The brand has virtually disappeared from this country. I think the final straw was when they used photos of convicts on death row in an ad, but the point is that this failed for Benneton and will likely fail for GM as well.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Mr. Farago, I remember that in the 1980s the Republicans asked Bruce Springsteen if they could use Born in the USA as a campaign song! My friend, who was in the ROTC at the time, said, “Are they crazy? Have they LISTENED to what that song is saying?”

    Today, however, I seriously doubt that there are many people in the dark as to Mr. Springsteen’s political affiliations.

    Mr. Mellencamp has been pretty open about his political views for several years now. He was a regular on the very liberal, but now-defunct, Air America radio network.

    Given his views, I’m surprised he would ever agree to let his music be used by a large corporation to sell a product. But I guess leftist/populists have mortgages, too.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    If Chevy wanted to show images meant to invoke strong emotions, they’ve accomplished their purpose. However, if I was advertising a product I don’t think I’d want it tied to images of the only president ever to resign as he leaves his office in shame, natural disasters, or the only war the US ever backed out of with our tail between our legs. There are far better and more positive images of what made this country great than these.

    And just when did their PR department grow some balls? It was just a few years back that they pulled a Corvette ad after one airing that showed a kid in school daydreaming about driving a Covette. The safety nazis all screamed it would invoke hoardes of car-driving 9 year olds running rampant in the streets and Chevy caved. I guess at this point they figure any publicity – good or bad – is better than no publicity.

  • avatar
    MW

    Interesting logic, about how a negative brand perception is better than none at all … if that’s true, why not run an ad with an ugly guy yelling “Chevy thinks you SUCK!”

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    I’ve seen the ad…

    Did it offer me a reason to buy a Chevy? No.

    Neither does the 100K miles in 5 years gimmick warranty.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Ad campaigns don’t create public sentiment, they harness an existing sentiment and associate their product with it. If we are to criticize the content of the ad for being jingoistic then we must also confront the notion that a good portion of the US population has similar ideals (otherwie GM would not have used these images). However, if the ad is sucessful can only be measured by sales of Chevy trucks.

    So what is it? Do you object to the Bubba demographic’s view of the world or to the fact that GM won’t sell any trucks because they have wrongly categorized their customers?

  • avatar

    My problem is that the ad sucked.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I think John Melloncamp was a good choice,finding a popular singer from the political right ,might be a challenge. Detroit born Ted Nugent maybe?Nah that wouldn,t work.
    John Melloncamp is like the rest of us.Maybe he just needed the money

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    It’s pandering pain and simple. If the vehicle has merits then that is what you advertise. What I find odd is that the Saturn Aura ad is actually quite good. It shows the beginning of a crash test of the for the Aura with the Tag “Like Always” and then goes on to driving dynamics of its new (to America) XR sedan with “Like never before”. Some may hate the tag line but I’ve seen worse and it’s understandable. The ad has the intended affect to generate an interest in the Saturn brand for those who would never have looked at it before.

    GM with the Chevy ad is preaching to the choir instead of focusing on the product and trying to get conquest sales. A number of people may not want a truck for their primary vehicle but have one around for hauling or bad weather conditions. I may pick up an old F150 for just those purposes.

  • avatar
    NoneMoreBlack

    People seem to be entirely missing the actual point of the phrase “any publicity is good publicity.” This is simply to mean that if you get people talking about something, when it comes time for them to buy XYZ product they will think “oh, what’s that one brand name I know?” This works out nicely for shoes and pencil sharpeners, but is anyone who reads this editorial on a semi-obscure pistonhead site going to go “hmm, I really need a truck…wait, I heard something about Chevy awhile ago! To the dealearship!”

    This, in my mind, is a fallacious argument to use against making a critique of advertising. If you always have the mindset that any discussion of advertising means the diabolical advertising geniuses have won and you’re playing their game, then any advertising couldn’t be discussed, no matter how worthy of discussion it might be.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    I don’t see anything wrong with the ad – the last time I checked, Chevrolet is a brand of General Motors, a U.S. corporation conceived, founded, developed, and based in the United States, and has been building trucks for what, over 90 years?

    The people who don’t like the ad would never buy a Chevy anyways.

    I only wished they showed Pearl Harbor, and then the A-bomb going off over one of their cities four years later. Of course, that was a time when Americans were indotrinated in self-loathing like today.

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    At the time, the Benneton ads DID work – but it was to create an instant buzz for a company unknown in the US.

    I think it speaks to the desperation at GM if what was once the world’s biggest and most ‘mainstream’ corporation is now willing to roll the dice on marketing their most profitable vehicles.

    This is just an index of GM’s desperation. I find it oddly “Rovian” (it is all political right?) that GM would think the key to success is in pandering to the ‘the base’ of it’s customers; preaching to choir instead of spreading the gospel to the heathens in California who avoid GM in droves.

    When GM’s trucks were picking up the slack of it’s market share in the late seventies (in ’78 Chevy trucks reached 30% of total production for the first time) GMC had a very effective ad campaign that showed ‘schlemiels’ or nebbishy types being seduced by the charms of a GMC pickup. It was addressing people who would never have thought to buy a truck, not ‘manly’ men who, GM figured, they had all sewn up anyway.

    The pathetic appeal to the flag only veils an important fact: that GM should’ve made the pickups more appealing (smaller and more fuel efficient) to people who might not have thought of themselves as ‘truck’ types, but find they can do more with a pickup, and still be able to park it and feed it.

  • avatar
    swedish_dakota

    The ad was a moving series of events and images that I think definitely reminded us of what/who/when/where of what USA is in some ways…but it ends with a truck….and yet another artist that does a cop out promo of a vehicle/dealership…I live in texas, and I cannot believe that there are artists out there that stoop to that level/lack of integrity that they sing about how great i.e Ford’s great in Texas blah blah blah…to add insult this silverado is hideous…you can dislike the suburban/tahoe/avalanche for their existance, but the styling was a great improvement from the previous generation…The silverado however just took two steps back…it just looks like dogs dinner…no resolvement or refinements whatsoever!
    Can nobody design good looking trucks anymore?

    In totality the ad wants you to buy american, cos if you dont, then toyota and pals become number one…but unless chevy and ford get out of the mire…and then it doesn’t matter whether you are patriotic or not because you can’t stop forward progress can you?

    Consumers have the last word.

  • avatar
    rashakor

    dhathewa,

    Finally somebody putting some sense in the story! A provocative ad must create buzz, but the buzz must take you to the showroom… otherwise it is a failure.
    BTW RF you forgot the most controversial add from Benetton ever! the French were treated to a gigantic billboard with a collection of a 100 cocks and pussies of all colors, sizes and configurations… Now that was shock value!

    GM should shock us by releasing not one car so superior in its price braket (Corvette) but severals to really proove a point.

  • avatar
    1984

    California and New England: Walking a fine line between being progressive and just plain out of touch with the rest of America.

    If you live in one of these places the chances of relating to the target demographic of pickup truck buyers is about zero.

    GM is not trying to get people to buy a pickup truck; it’s trying to get people who buy pickup trucks to buy their pickup truck.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    rashakor–

    configurations?! wha?

  • avatar
    Gotta Chime In

    Brand awarenss, tugging at emotions – that’s all well and good. But will these new GM brand-centric adds really make more people want to go test drive and buy these vehicles? No. Why? Not one specific model is being displayed on the set long enough to catch the viewer’s attention.

    There is a lot of discussion in marketing circles that brand-awareness advertising is the way to go with tried and true short life cycle products that have been around for decades (e.g. Tide, Cascade). I just don’t see that translating to the big ticket items.

    OK, I’m actively talking and thinking about GM products at this second. But I’ll go buy Tide and Cascade when I get low because they are good products and I’m willing to trust a new offering that only costs $5. Not true for a Silverado based on a commercial that pissed me off at some point in the past. Come on, GM – FOCUS!

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Farago is right. This ad is bad because it doesn’t actually work.

    The point of this ad, apparently conceived after a massive coke party in Detroit, is to piss off liberals enough to get wingnut buyers motivated in Chevy’s direction — they stuck it to the lib’rals! Lib’rals hate them! Good nuff fer me! It’s the same strategy that the wingnuts have used since the late 70’s to bamboozle the middle class and the religious into voting against their own best interests.

    The problems are:

    (a) It doesn’t actually acheive their goals. It’s so milquetoast that the liberals simply don’t care.

    (b) If it did actually work — say it was the celebration of epic violence and widespread mutilation that taxman100 wants so dearly — exactly what media outlets would liberals be able to use to express their outrage? Conservatives dominate the traditional media.

    (c) It shows a remarkable tone-deafness to do liberal-baiting at this point in history. Wasn’t the jingoism of the ‘Like A Rock’ years enough to appeal to the unwashed masses? (It sure ruined Bob Seger for a generation or two of music listeners.) Further, it forever taints the product with that political edge. If it happens to be bad politics, you’ve just shot the company in the head as far as 70% of the country is concerned.

    (e) Even conservatives buy for quality, the same as sane people, given the option. Dell is about the most American electronics company around. Apple, despite being headquartered in the US and led by an American, is basically a European company (in attitude, design, and quality). So why do Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush use Macintoshes and iPods?

    Chevy needs to create and then sell quality, not controversy.

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    The problem with the appeal to patriotism is that you’d better deliver the goods or you’ll lose a customer forever. This happened to me. During the 90’s I bought a Dodge Grand Caravan (pre-Daimler) after years of owning nothing but Toyotas, mostly out of guilt. That lemon was in the shop more than it was in my garage. By the time I was done I was ready to pay a used car dealer to take if off my hands. Now whenever I hear someone tell me that buying a foreign car is un-American I just sneer. Give me a real reason to buy, like maybe because you have the best vehicle in it’s class. Don’t throw some guilt at me.

    As for Benneton, this company had a reputation as kind of edgy and out-there but hip during the 80’s. During the 90’s they started running those truly offensive ads and killed the brand. I remember the Wall Street Journal running an editorial in the early 90’s attacking Benneton’s ad campaign. The president of Benneton wrote back basically saying that Americans are too dumb to understand European sophistication. Adios Benneton.

  • avatar
    whitenose

    1984, dude, have you ever been to California or New England? Which parts? California is rather large and disparate, New England less so.

    You have a remarkably narrow definition of pickup truck buyers. Having been to many places in this country, up and down California included, I’d wager they’re both more plentiful than you think (all over the country) and not limited to the class of people you think they are limited to.

  • avatar
    kken71

    I would buy a Chevy if it could fly. This ad does not change my position.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Funny, Automotive News had a very similar editorial, panning the new Chevy pickup ads. Anyone have a YouTube or other link?

  • avatar
    RicardoHead

    Once again, GM shows it just, can’t, quite, get, there.

    You’re reading WAAAAAAAY to much into a truck ad, man.

  • avatar
    1984

    Yep,

    3 months in Modesto

    Two times Petaluma/ Oakland/ SF

    One NY City

    One DC

    This attitude: Me me me me. No one else matters because we are so ahead of the curve! Buy a hybrid; trucks are dead… damn gas guzzling baby killers! You don’t need a truck because me me me don’t need a truck! Have a Starbucks!

    You know what?

    -Shove it-

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    Over the past weekend, I saw a C-SPAN interview with Brian Mann, the author of a new book called “Welcome to the Homeland”. (It’s on Amazon.com if you’re interested)

    The theme of the book is that the Red State/Blue State political/cultural divide is due to the very different realities that rural and urban people experience.

    The problem for Chevrolet is that “metros” (urban/suburban dwellers) FAR outnumber “homelanders” (rural/Red State) dwellers.

    So, if Chevy is choosing to ‘pick sides’ in the cultural split, they are siding with the dwindling minority.

    Deliberately alienating the 80% of Americans more likely to buy a Tundra in an effort to sell a few more Silverados to the remaining 20% seems like a losing strategy to me.

  • avatar
    2006300c

    As a nationalist I have no problem with any display of jingoism and patriotism and anything that gets under the skin of lefties is good IMO. But I think these commercials that do not focus on the product are a waste. The truck is only on screen for about 3 sec. I want to know about facts, features, figures, improvements and shots of the car’s styling that make it look appealing. The new Lincoln ads may be the worst; some don’t even show the zephyr at all.

    BTW all you people calling musicians sellouts, stuff the self righteousness. The music business is just that, a business, they are doing what is in their financial interests like everybody else.

  • avatar
    pete

    1984 said…
    “California and New England: Walking a fine line between being progressive and just plain out of touch with the rest of America.

    If you live in one of these places the chances of relating to the target demographic of pickup truck buyers is about zero.”

    I wish you could share my CA commute with me – I drive a sedan but every morning I’m surrounded by pickup trucks. They usually fall into two categories – big (bigger the better) clean ones driven by folks who will never use them for what they are and prefer them over SUVs for the message they send and second, older “used” examples in use by people in manual jobs and who really need the truck bed etc etc. Oh and they all drive at over 80 mph up US 101 until they get to the potholes in San Jose.

    Summary – CA knows plenty about pickup trucks even in its most urban areas.

  • avatar
    Antone

    Fascism is a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.

  • avatar
    geeber

    KingElvis: The pathetic appeal to the flag only veils an important fact: that GM should’ve made the pickups more appealing (smaller and more fuel efficient) to people who might not have thought of themselves as ‘truck’ types, but find they can do more with a pickup, and still be able to park it and feed it.

    Peope who purchase full-size pickups do not want smaller vehicles. They are concerned about room, towing capacity and size. If they were really concerned about fuel efficiency and ease of handling, they wouldn’t be buying a full-size pickup in the first place.

    In the early 1990s, Honda was convinced that Americans would demand smaller, more practical cars. So it made the 1994 Accord smaller than its predecessor, while Toyota UPSIZED the Camry for 1992. It was at that time that the Accord lost the sales crown to Camry.

    Incidentally, each time I’ve visited California, I’ve been struck by the popularity of GM’s full-size pickups and SUVs. If it weren’t for those vehicles (and the Corvette), GM would be out of business on the retail side in the Golden State.

    whitenose: The point of this ad, apparently conceived after a massive coke party in Detroit, is to piss off liberals enough to get wingnut buyers motivated in Chevy’s direction — they stuck it to the lib’rals! Lib’rals hate them! Good nuff fer me! It’s the same strategy that the wingnuts have used since the late 70’s to bamboozle the middle class and the religious into voting against their own best interests.

    There’s one problem with your theory. If this were GM’s goal, why did it use John Mellencamp – well known as a leftist/populist – for its ad?

    And, more importantly, if this were the goal of the ad campaign, why did Mr. Mellencamp agree to participate and have his name and music linked to it? Is he that clueless? Does he not review ad campaigns before agreeing to his participation? Or does he need the money that badly?

  • avatar
    monteclat

    much ado about an ad

  • avatar
    1984

    I never said there were not a lot of trucks in California. The problem is that the place is so out-of-their-mind. California creates the SUV craze and then they want to destroy it… they try to promote hybrids and then when the tax revenue goes down from gasoline that they want to tax the hybrid… Traffic is crap (god forbid you cut a tree down to expand the road network). You can’t get a house for under 1/2 a million dollars because a cow occupies the usable land and you have movie foreign actor for a governor? WTH!

    And this gives CA the right to judge the Midwest truck buyers how?

  • avatar
    pete

    So the ad should really work then if all we want to see is stereotypes.

  • avatar
    pfingst

    kken71: I would buy a Chevy if it could fly.

    I wouldn’t.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I just wish the Chevy ads showed more of what America is really like. Maybe they could show these images, instead:
    · UAW workers being canned while Bob Lutz flies overhead in his private fighter plane
    · People getting thrown out of their houses because they borrowed all the equity in their homes and now they’ve lost their jobs
    · People taking the bus to work because they can’t afford gas money while their giant SUVs sit at home gathering rust
    · Congress fighting over naughty emails while the nation’s deficit continues to grow
    · George Bush on vacation yet again while American soldiers are dying in Iraq

    Maybe there’s a reason I’m not in Marketing

  • avatar
    2006300c

    I’m a fascist? Thank you! I’ve always wanted a label. I’m a little Eichmann too.(see ward Churchill) Stupid corporations acting all corporty!!!!!!

    SherbornSean:
    Oh boo hoo, whoa with us!!! I love election years. We live in the most stable affluent nation on earth but people always yearn for confrontation, drama and struggle.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Folks – the ad is what is known in advertising a Granfalloon tactic. It is meant to be divisive and get folks that may not otherwise be intersted in Chevy trucks defend the ad in response to its attack from what are perceived to be liberals on some of the values identified in the ad. The best that GM could hope for would be if Nancy Pelosi attacked the ad. Unfortunately RF did a great service to GM with his column as many non-Chevy truck owners came out in the defence of GM and thus aligned themselves with their product – which is exactly what GM wants.

    If you want to know more about Granfalloons tactics you can read more about them here:

    http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/06/25/people_who_drive_silver_or_blue_cars_should_not_read_this.htm

  • avatar

    1984:
    One NY City
    One DC

    Uh, 1984: these are not New England. You’ll find plenty of pickups in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and even some in Massachusetts.

  • avatar

    From today’s editorials and reviews, we have a chance to critique a review on a real car, a Lexus ES. Net result as of this writing? 17 replies.

    We’ve also got the chance to critique of review of Chevrolet’s latest ad campaign. Net result? 56 replies, most of them GM negative.

    Obviously, to this crowd, slagging GM is a lot more fun than discussing real cars.

    Syke
    Deranged Few M/C

  • avatar
    Antone

    I wasn’t calling anyone here a Fascist. I think the ad tries to capture that feel or extreme (in a laughing with-you sort of way).

  • avatar

    The problem with this spot is that the people who it appeals to were going to buy a new Silverado already. It mearly mantains the brand and it’s market share, making no effort to convince new buyers.

    And you “middle america” people have California all wrong. Sure the celebs are all hybrid crazed, but they are just the vocal minority. The silent majority of hairy-chested club promoters, farmers, rednecks, OC soccer moms and dads all drive giant SUVs. I don’t think they plan to stop anytime soon either. These are all don’t-you-tell-me-what-to-drive folks that are even more adament about it than those you’ll find in “middle america”. As a southern transplant living in LA I know what I see.

  • avatar
    tms1999

    “Peope who purchase full-size pickups do not want smaller vehicles. They are concerned about room, towing capacity and size.”

    Nope. People buy pickup trucks because they can. Because they can affod it, because it makes them feel good in a cosummeristic kind of way. Then, they justify it with “towing a boat” and “hauling stuff”, and room and everything else that goes with it.

    That’s of course the suburban truck buying dad. There may be trucks that actually go to the utilitarian sales, like loaded with drywalling, paint or lawnmowers, but I believe theose are a majority.

    The GM ad strikes me as alienating. I’m not a pickup truck person, but if I ever was, I would get out of my way to avoid the manufacturer that uses cheap and desperate looking tricks. At a time GM needs to hang on to its market share (and really needs conquest sales) they should really go after people and convert them to Chevy owners, not reinforce the already convinced people.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    1984,
    I live in Connecticut, and there are plenty of pickups here. Houses need to be built, lawns need to be landscaped, pools need to be cleaned, wherever work needs to be done, people will be buying pickups.

    Don’t believe everything you see on TV. California and New England are not some foreign country. Trucks don’t all turn to Hybrid cars once you cross the border.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    1984 is right about GM is not targetting the blue states with this ad. This ad is very polarizing just like our president: you are either with us or against us. Playing victims and the patriot cards work only for a short period of time, if your products doesn’t match up you are branded either a crook or a loser. I assume this is how GM loses its customer in the first place and still haven’t got them back even if they have improved their quality dramatically recently. They are paying for their past sin.

    I am not a pickup buyer (pretty useless as I live in urban and don’t need to take my trash 10 miles away from home, and home depot is within 2 miles from home). For those who like full size trucks, it is an ad for them. Making an ad for the blue states is a sure fire way to ruin their reputation in the red states, you can’t please both side.

    Then again, those buyers that wanted to buy GM pickup because of the ad are fully responsible for their own decision. If they help keeping GM in black, good for them and good for us (less chance of chap 11 and the fed bailing them out by tax dollar). I sure as hell wouldn’t buy one for sure due to reliability and the way they look.

    Why does this issue have to do with Cal and New England? If you don’t like to live here, fine and go back to where you came from. The conservatives elected the governator (the liberals are trying to get him off), the conservatives started the SUV craze, the dot commer (and high tech industry, they are semi-conservatives rather than liberals) jacked up the real estate prices, why the heck are you blaiming it on the liberals?

    BTW, I did a “political point of view” test and I am 0.2 to the left from the center on a -4 to +4 scale, so don’t call me a liberal unless you are exactly on 0.

  • avatar
    1984

    There are lots trucks in the cities… yeah no doubt. It’s just there are so much more elsewhere, outside of the city. This ad targets the majority and everyone else can take a walk… because you where never going to buy a truck anyway (or never should have).

  • avatar
    GMrefugee

    What is says:
    If you are a “true” American and are in the market for a new pickup truck, you should buy the new Silverado because it was made for Americans like you.

    What it should have said:
    If you are in the market for a pickup, you owe yourself the new Silverado because not only is it the latest and best, but it has a long history of being a great product that helped build this nation.

  • avatar
    1984

    I lived in CA for a bit. They can’t resist from saying what I should do… If you think otherwise they will legislate you into a corner because they know what is “best” for me. Resistance is futile.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    If any company has the right to talk about “America’s truck” it is Ford Motor Company, not General Motors vis-a-vis the Chevrolet division. Fans of the Bow Tie may not like to hear this, but Henry Ford (the first) created the pickup by putting a (small) pickup bed behind the Model “T” cab; so that farmers – such as he himself once was – would have something to carry haybails and such in. (There might have been other experimental pickups made, prior to that – not sure. But Mr. Ford created the first production pickup and at a reasonable price.)
    As far as “is this commercial appropriate” that gets into a bunch of philosophical stuff, at all levels of argument. The thing that comes immediately to mind is the word “co-opt.” Back when I was last a full-time student at a university, I had a Marxist professor for a class I took on socialism. (He was a very open-minded guy, who followed up on my suggestion to debate capitalism, as an economic system, with the author of an economics textbook I was simultaneously working my way through in Econ 200 – Paul Hyak was that author’s name, as I recall.) Professor diQuattro, and his fellow Marxists – there were many openly Marxist people on campus then – used to talk about how capitalists would “co-opt” things to sell products and services. They thought it was a bad thing. I myself, being at that time interested in becoming a copywriter, while finding it vulgar, figured it was a necessity of life.
    Certainly, Bill Ludwig and his minions at Campbell-Ewald have co-opted a bunch of images to sell trucks. I won’t begrudge them that, since at this point in time, the General’s ad agencies need to pull all their punches.
    But I do take issue with his calling those of us, who for whatever reasons, drive Volvo sedans, cynics.
    Oscar Wilde once defined a cynic as someone “who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”
    Maybe Mr. Ludwig is good to whatever family he has and whatever companion animals – probably a dog, for the truck eh? – he might have. But I would posit that he and the boys and girls at Campbell-Ewald are the cynics, not the usual college professors and journos who drives Volvos. He should be ashamed of himself for using a plethora of historical images to sell trucks. But hey, that’s what cynics do.

  • avatar
    rashakor

    Dear Midwesterners,

    Have you ever realized that there is more Farmers (real ones with pickup truck and everything) in California than in all the upper midwest put together (OH, MO, IA, IN, MN, WI, MI, KS, NE and the Dakotas)?

    Have you realized or even start to appreciate the fact that without CA, TX, NY, PA, and FL the USA WOULD NOT EVEN BE the first world economic power?

  • avatar
    chaz_233

    – GM didn’t hire Hannity.
    – The ‘like a rock’ line was perhaps upstaged by ‘Ford tough’
    – GM has to preempt the upcoming billion dollar ad campaign by Toyoduh to present it’s truck as America’s truck and Toyoduh as not just an American company but Ameica’s company. It was necessary for GM, and I hope in the future Ford as well, to respond and make sure Toyoduh doesn’t monopolize the patriotism theme.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Terry Parkhurst: Maybe Mr. Ludwig is good to whatever family he has and whatever companion animals – probably a dog, for the truck eh? – he might have.

    Soooo…because he works in advertising, we can’t be sure of this, but we’ll give Mr. Ludwig the benefit of the doubt?

    How considerate – also unnecessarily judgmental, and downright silly – but considerate, nonetheless.

    Terry Parkhurst: But I would posit that he and the boys and girls at Campbell-Ewald are the cynics, not the usual college professors and journos who drives Volvos. He should be ashamed of himself for using a plethora of historical images to sell trucks. But hey, that’s what cynics do.

    And there is a word for well-paid tenured Marxists at universities and some journalists – poseurs.

    They are quite happy to rail against capitalism, advertising, or whatever the cause du jour is, while living the good life made possible by the profits and higher standard of living those mean old capitalists (including the people running GM) generate.

    Last time I checked, most professors and journalists – even those of a Marxist bent – don’t work for the minimum wage. Otherwise, how could they afford those Volvos?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I dunno, the ads didn’t offend me….and I’m usually the first to point out a GM-gaffe. And the ads aren’t too red-state-leaning because they cite Nixon’s resignation and Hurricane Katrina, two relatively non-con issues. I remember my dad (definately a con!) screaming bloody murder when Nixon “got hounded out” of office.

    Yep, I think GM achieved their purpose since we’re here discussing it……

  • avatar
    Terry

    Youre ALL wrong!!!
    This is about class warfare pure and simple.
    Chevy is saying..”Look, we KNOW people with triple-digit IQs wont buy our crap, but we know YOU will!. We already suckered you into the one you have now, PLEASE buy another!!
    The ad caters to the “Larry the Cable Guy is a genius!” crowd, caters to those with 17th-century dental work and the ability to blow one’s nose without the use of a hankerchief.
    At this point, the ONLY thing GM can do is try to keep what customers they already have, and not even think about getting other maker’s customers to switch from what they already are happy with.
    Pathetic and desperate, I’m sure they’re proud of themselves.

  • avatar

    “Apple, despite being headquartered in the US and led by an American, is basically a European company (in attitude, design, and quality). So why do Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush use Macintoshes and iPods?”

    As an Mac user I take offence to that. In my mind Apple is everything that is right about America. It’s the underdog that sticks it to the big guys with (american) innovation and style. It’s one of the things that we have that the Japanese and Europeans copy frequently (unlike our cars).

  • avatar

    Point taken, Now, ease up on the class warfare gentlemen, or the plug will be pulled (in the time-honored TTAC tradition of keeping the flames on low).

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Oops, Bobby, I think you’ve got the Autoextremist doing a last minute re-write. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Yeah, I missed that Apple comment, but I too find it kind of stupid… Here is a truly American company that is doing everthing right, and you want to credit Europe for that?

  • avatar
    Luther

    I was told by the TeeVee Macs are for juveniles and time-wasters.

    Dang that advertising………

  • avatar
    kablamo

    I haven’t seen the ad on TV, but I did view it online a week or two ago; my impressions are:

    -This ad seems clearly exploitative and in my opinion in bad taste. Few to none of the moments they portray have anything to do with vehicular transportation – I see it this as probably reinforcing traditional pickup buyers’ opinions but converting very few.

    -The ad fails to link the “country” and “truck”. Sure, it implies it, but it doesn’t do much to convince anyone. Many people could say, and be right (judging by sales), that the *real* American truck is the F-150.

    -Implying that the ad is successful because it generates buzz is 100% BS. The purpose of advertising is to sell – this ad isn’t showing many people why they need or should want a Chevy truck – it does suggest that buying a Chevy could be good for your country though (a bit of a logical leap but point given nonetheless).

    Creating buzz works when you create a strong association and identity. As recently as a few months ago Chevy was still pushing “American Revolution” now it’s “Our Country”. The Benetton isn’t quite apt, the fashion (and clothing) industry is totally different than the automotive industry, especially in NA. Fashion is known to thrive on shock, sex, radical differenciation and originality for the sake of it. Car industry rewards more innovation through innovative product, price, image or power. This ad does nothing for any of those attributes.

    Why do I need a Chevy truck? The ad doesn’t tell me.
    Why would I want a Chevy truck over a Ford to support my country? That ad doesn’t even tell me that.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    You know what makes America great (besides nukes and wars and hippies)? The amazing variety and diversity of people: Latinos, Asians, Europeans, etc. Chevy should add in like a clip of newly citizenified immigrants along with like all that other stuff

    Off topic but it has to do with advertising sorta..

    There’s been like $10,000 off Mrsp on R350s. Anyone know why? are they not selling? is the 2007 about to come out better? Are they being discontinued?

    Anyways. Yea. Just wondering. Sorry just had to ask.

  • avatar
    theguest59

    RF.
    Thanks. You got plenty of emotional feedback to your well written discourse.

    The ad tries to sell a concept that just doesn’t quite sell. More importantly, the product isn’t better. Sort of, “let’s feel better” about buying something that’s not that good.”

    I don’t think Mellencamp is an issue; he’s a midwesterner who has seen plenty of rust in the rust belt. And he got paid. It would be a bit more disconcerting if U2 did the ad or Mellencamp was singing background for a hotel chain “This is your hotel; you gotta try Ramada.”

    GM needs to build better vehicles for both red and blue states.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The ad offends me to the extent that there are consumers out there that will actually believe the malarkey the ad espouses. You know, the same red-state idiots who unwaveringly continue to vote for (and support) people like G.W. Bush. If there was ever an ad that makes the point that buying a GM product labels you a ‘Buy American’ moron (regardless of how shoddy the American product is), this is it.

    Ah, well, it just shows how desperate GM really is. As someone else said, where’s the footage of Pearl Harbor being attacked and the US nuclear response? How about a quick glimpse of the Saddam statue being pulled down and Lindy England at Abu Ghraib with her Iraqi on a dog leash? That’ll sure generate some publicity ‘buzz’ and sell some Silverados and Tahoes.

    Maybe in the next GM ad…

  • avatar

    Play nice guys. Lay off the Bush bashing and liberal baiting.

  • avatar
    heel2toe

    So it is now John Mellencamp versus Toby Keith trying to sell domestic pickup trucks?

    Is this even a debate?

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Just a note, to “Geeber” (and anyone else interested): I gave Bill Ludwig the benefit of the doubt, not because he works in advertising. I try to give anyone whom I have not met, face-to-face and talked to for a bit more than 10 minutes, the benefit of the doubt. I take mucho grief where I live because I extend that privilege to anyone, including the current occupant of the White House (that’s what I take grief for).
    As for Marxists being poseurs, maybe yes, maybe no. Some admittedly seemed to fit that mold, but then too so do many Ducati riders or BMW drivers I meet. All I know about the professor I had for the class mentioned earlier was that he was a civil and decent man, operating outside the norm. By the way, he didn’t get tenure, so I doubt he ever bought a Volvo.
    And please don’t think everyone who drives a Volvo is living large. My own hooptie of a Volvo cost me just $500 when I bought it (used) in 1994 – although I have put maybe $2,000 into it since, along with a lot of sweat equity. The average vintage Volvo driver/owner is not very much like the “typical” Volvo driver/owner you visualize, although there is some overlap on the demographics, from those who own both. But when I have attended the annual open house at X-Ray Auto, a shop that repairs and restores vintage Volvos, many of the people who own old Volvo 122S sedans are people in their twenties who still rent apartments, shop at thrift stores and play in rock bands at night. Not every Volvo owner is a professor of Medieval History who still has a “Kerry 2004” sticker on the rear bumper.

  • avatar

    “taxman100:
    October 16th, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    …….I only wished they showed Pearl Harbor, and then the A-bomb going off over one of their cities four years later. Of course, that was a time when Americans were indotrinated in self-loathing like today. ”

    Hey Taxman I hate Hitler and the nazis, I hate Tojo and what Japan did in 1941 too, but what I don’t think you understand is that the vast majority of people alive today do not make a connection between Japan of 1941 with Toyota today.

    I was born in 1962, so why am I suppose to some how not buy a Toyota versus GM or Ford because of what someone’s grandfather did?

    My parents would never buy a Japanese brand (I’m Chinese) because they were there during the Japanese Occupation of Shanghai. They hated the Japanese due to their personal experience. I am sure it is and was the same for the older generations of Americans due to their personal WW2 experience.

    Tojo and Hitler are dead. We had war crimes tribunals, yet that same hoary old tired argument is bandied about concerning Pearl Harbor.

    The reason it has no effect is because virtually no one in the current car buying public has any connection to the old WW2 Japan. People are not in the habit of punishing people, companies etc based on something that happened before they were born and that was perpatrated by someones father or grandfather. We were not alive and the perpatraters of starting the war have been punished.

    However, if one were to be upset enough with historical deeds to punish a company then would it not also follow that Daimler Chrysler should be tarred as the supplier of the Third Reichs arms?

    As for self loathing I like most people outside of detroit do not make my definition of being American or of being patriotic with the type of vehicle I drive. Virtually no one outside of Detroit identifies with GM Ford etc. We don’t hate them, we simply see them as companies.

    I also find it remarkable that I constantly read (on other forums) postings that the current car offerings of Detroit are not the same as the poor quality cars from the 70’s 80’s 90’s.

    Pearl Harbor has no relevance with most people because it was not a part of our actual life experience, however, those poorly made and engineered cars of the 70’s , 80’s and 90’s were a part of most current car buyers life experience.

    Those crap cars are what have left a lasting searing memory for most people and unfortunately for Detroit just as many older Americans never forgot Pearl harbor from their life experience, many of todays buyers will also likely carry a long term memory of the crap cars from detroit for many years.

  • avatar
    NeonCat93

    Everyone has missed the point on this. The ad isn’t divisive at all: if Rosa Parks had had a Chevy truck, she wouldn’t have had to ride the bus. MLK could have ridden instead of marched. If Nixon had only given the Vietnamese pick-ups instead of bombing them, he wouldn’t have had to resign. Everyone trapped by Katrina could have driven out if they’d just had a Chevy pick-up.

    That’s the real message. Get a Chevy truck or your life will suck and decades from now your struggles will become part of a manipulative ad campaign. You’ve been warned.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i saw the ad on r&t’s site i think, i thought it was kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way. They are really goin out of business arent they? Good thing that pickups cant kiss babies. Kinda reminds me of Santorums ads here in PA. As he goes down like a leaky ship, his pleas get more and more shrill, his blame circle gets ever larger. Perhaps if he buys a chevy, he will get re-elected.

  • avatar
    LK

    rashakor – not sure where you got your info, but according to the USDA there are more farms & farmers in Iowa than there are in the entire state of California.

    As far as the ad goes, it does seem a bit odd that GM is playing the whole “our country, our truck” card while building a large number of the trucks in Mexico.

  • avatar
    The Flexible Despot

    Gentlemen,

    What IS it with conservatives, and apparently Chevy and their ad men, with their hostility to Volvo? Is it the machine, itself? The old-school boxy style? The fact that they regularly go 300,000+ miles? The neighbors have an old 240DL with 340,000 on the clock that was once driven by the parents, but now the girl off at college drives it. The father recently told me you just wouldn’t believe the hostility this car generates from the local redneck population on the road (flipping the bird at it, tailgating, etc.). It has been hit a couple of times; the bumper was dented, but you should have seen what the OTHER car looked like afterwards.

    I was so impressed with their car, my wife got a newer style one a year ago. She loves it. The thing has been rock solid. The Volvo haters can continue their diatribes till the cows come home, we like this vehicle. And I’m not trading it in for a Chevy, no way, no how… no matter how often Johnny Cougar croons to the likenesses of Rosa Parks, MLK, Richard Nixon, or American GIs in Vietnam on my television set during the baseball playoffs.

    Around these parts in eastern Tennessee, when I see a car sporting alot of left wing bumper stickers, it is usually an old VW bus or bug, a newer Jetta, or an older Subaru wagon.

    Volvos cost too much for the poor starving artist lefty crowd. While capable of putting up astounding mileage, they can be expensive to maintain unless you are a do it yourself type who enjoys working on cars. The older Volvos are not hard to work on, which is one reason people so inclined do keep them around. Somehow, I don’t think the left wing crowd gets off on spending a Saturday afternoon replacing a starter or water pump on their quarter million mile Swedish tank.

    For the record, I am a libertarian.

  • avatar
    dean

    carguy: thanks for the link on “granfallooning.” Very interesting and informative. Judging by some of the comments that came after, I’m not sure anyone read it!

    You’re bang on of course. Granfallooning is exactly what this ad is about. Nice to have a name for it.

  • avatar
    The Flexible Despot

    Granfaloon? Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book years ago called “Wampeters, Foma, and Granfaloons”. Or something like that. I don’t believe I have seen that word in print or spoken since, until this thread. Props to you for resurrecting an obscure word.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    So, the Autoextremist, didn’t do a re-write after all. Interesting approach from two different angles, but the outcome and conclusions are amazingly similar.

  • avatar

    All I can say is:

    John Cougar Melancholy is a quick way to get me to change the channel.

  • avatar
    willjames2000

    A few random thoughts. Still our country, America. That’s what both Melancamps song and the ad are saying. The ad, without the Chevy’s, could have easily been a music video for the song. If loving your country, being patriotic and standing by America, warts and all, risks being labeled a red-state hick, then what does that say about the Blue-state city folk? Do they hate our country, wanting nothing but to see it fail? Anybody moving out soon? Didn’t think so. Anyway as we are talking about it, the ad has already been successful. It’s just an introduction to the Chevy version of the new, redesigned best selling f/s truck in the world (GM and Chevy combined). A truck that is already the longest lasting, most dependable f/s truck (yea I know, another ad) . And the new truck gets 15%-20% better gas mileage than its competitors, including the Toyota & Nissan “f/s” trucks. All facts I’m sure they’ll tell us about when after the intro campaign.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Well, I guess that GM doesn’t want any Volvo owners considering a Cadillac, or Saab!, for their next vehicle.

    It absolute boggles the mind to watch the foolishness of Detroit’s highly paid rock-star-wannabe management.

    You can dress a baboon up in a tux and give him a microphone and still have nothing but a baboon.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    A friend of mine recently bought a Silverado and loves it.

    The window sticker says “Made in Mexico”.

    Ford advertises all about “American Innovation” and loves to say what a big hit the new Fusion is. Hmmm, the Fusion is derived from a Japanese Mazda design and is built in Mexico.

    I guess there is nothing more American than outsourcing!

  • avatar
    bross

    As a PR and advertising professional, I can assure you that the “controversial” PR around this ad is NOT success for Chevy. The old “all publicity is good publicity” is true for unknown brands that simply want to get on the radar and for those who want to build their brand around an edgy/controversial image (like Bennetton).
    Obviously, neither is the case for GM. GM is hardly in a position to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to invite criticism and further cement any perceptions out there that they are not operating in the modern world.

    Although it’s true that the ads are targeted to the old school, mid-american pickup driver who may, in fact, enjoy them, the problem is that the rest of us are looking on and view the use of the American tragedies as an exploitative way to sell trucks. The idea being proposed here is American resilency which goes hand in hand with the pickup truck mentality, but not only does that not come through very clearly but it’s a cheap shot.

    Not only is it a cheap shot but it’s a misguided one. Those images conjure up feelings that are not neccessarily associated with resiliency but rather hurt, anger, fear, sorrow and frustration. And then they try to sell you a pickup truck.

    This is most certainly a misstep and it matters. Yes, it’s just an ad campaign but it is the voice of GM talking to American consumers and many people are questioning what it is they’re saying exactly and what it is they’re thinking when they create these ads and the levels they are willing to stoop to to sell a truck. It appears that many people don’t like the answer at which they are arriving when they ask themselves those questions. That isn’t something GM wants to spend their ad money doing. They don’t need help digging themselves into a hole with negative perceptions of their company — and they don’t want to spend their own money doing the digging.

    Believe me, this is a case of bad publicity is bad publicity.

  • avatar

    Like so many other deaf, dumb and blind so-called companies, the dinosaur called GM thinks it can advertise its way to success. That “creative” directors can fool all of us into simply overlooking the fact that their cars suck. That they are junk on wheels. This controversy is a tempest in a teapot. The company is supposed to be making cars not noise. But it forgot how to do that 30 years ago. So it leaves that to Toyota. And that quiet giant is eating GM’s face.

    Mark Stevens
    MSCO

  • avatar
    notbuyinit

    Most of what you see is caused by the fact that Chevy/GM ad execs pretty much live in a bubble and have no real lives. Therein lies the problem — they mostly use their agency CE as a mouthpiece and production house and very seldom as a creative thinktank, they force pretty much every idea down the agency’s throat. Not to say CE doesn’t cooperate lovingly and have its own share of redneck reasoning. Literally everything that gets into public view has to be of low enough IQ and quality for Chevy’s sheltered & idiotic ad figureheads to understand/approve it. “Our Country” is so highly offensive (and desperate) on so many levels… and not a single ad exec at GM could see for themselves as to why on earth that would be the case.

    Fire them all — as far as Detroit goes,we should be viewing these people as accountable elected officials, they are controlling/destroying the livelihood of an entire region — and trust me, I know from personal experience that Kosak and co. don’t give a mangy rat’s ass about a single one of you. If you are in the ad biz in Detroit, start looking for a new gig and soon. Most likely in a new city unless a tech boom happens.

    Oh yeah, and the cars continue to utterly suck. There’s your trump card.

    See ya GM, (and CE) it’s been a good run but all good things must come to an end. I give ya 5 before you are absorbed by Toyota.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 28-Cars-Later: Thanks. I could see adding weight for a more “luxurious” feel but I wonder if it...
  • redapple: Tim First impressions are usually correct. 90% of the time is my swag. And the adage, “as it begins...
  • Imagefont: The 2.5V6 was beautifully made. Deep skirt iron block, all four of the main bearing caps were connected...
  • 28-Cars-Later: “Deutsche Umwelthilfe (literally DUH)” “DUH” sounds about right for these...
  • dal20402: Yes, it’s heavier, and the suspension is also softer, so you get a bit more bounciness. People swap...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber