GM CPO "Ambush" Ad's Casting Call

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm cpo ambush ads casting call

A clever TTAC commentator scanned internet archives and found this little gem. It's the script for aspiring actors looking to apply for GM's CPO ambush ads. As anyone who's ever watched the carefully-planned spontaneity of reality TV knows, it's no surprise that GM decided how to embarrass private sellers before they embarrassed them, and used professionals. But it's still a bit queasy-making to see the non-pro sellers' replies pre-established on paper. And there are still a few questions about Ambush-gate that I'd like answered. Were the ambushees given a heads-up before taping? Were they given the script? How many sellers did they film who refused to sign a release? How much did GM have to pay to get people to agree to this? How much did this campaign cost?

Click here for PDF of script

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4 of 15 comments
  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Jul 27, 2008

    Thank you for explaining why we need to put a clamp on frivolous lawsuits.

  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Jul 27, 2008

    Can you imagine Honda or Toyota doing this? "don't buy our incredibly reliable used vehicles from someone else, because they might not be quite as stunningly reliable as buying ones that we glanced at from our dealers?" "Oh BTW, we are not leasing vehicles anymore because our guarantees on the residuals are killing us."

  • Ambushedfan Ambushedfan on Jul 28, 2008

    Hey people- I didn't work on this campaign, but I'm in the reality TV/advertising arena, and I know how they cast this. If you listen closely to the videos, you'll notice that they were filmed in vegas--Nevada is one of the only states where you can film hidden camera content. (New york is another) Anyway, this was ENTIRELY unscripted, with the exception of the actor playing the "buyer". The casting script is written for two people because casting agents need a script for the non-existent person to read, that is, to cast an actor, they need something to react to. Thus, the writers usually write scripts that include ANTICIPATED responses from the second party (in this case, the seller) so the featured actor can be evaluated on his acting skills. I believe the buyer is doing mostly improv, and if you watch the content on the laptop to the right of the main monitors, he talks about how he has an earwig to listen to the director feeding him lines. So don't be too quick to jump to conclusions that this was fake. I personally think it's a nice piece of reality/hidden camera production. - Mike

  • Radimus Radimus on Jul 28, 2008

    I don't think it would be all that hard for a few people with hidden cams to return the favor to GM's CPO program and post the results on YouTube. They probably would not even have to script anything.