GM Ad Czar Bob Lutz: "I Am in Charge"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Automotive News [sub] reports that GM Ad Czar Bob Lutz is large and in charge of the nationalized automaker’s ad campaigns. The combative former Car Czar has a favorite ad [this one] and . . . a plan! From now on, New GM will—

— Change the way it works with its agencies. Lutz will take an early and active role in directing the creative work.

— Shift to more product-driven advertising.

— Give vehicle designers a powerful influence over the look of advertising.

— Develop viral ad campaigns that rampage through the Internet. “It’s got to be a funny story; it’s got to be humorous; it’s got to be unexpected,” Lutz says.

— Conduct high-level weekly meetings to decide budgets and spark marketing ideas. The meetings will include brand leaders; Ed Welburn, the global design chief; Chris Preuss, the head of public relations; Betsy Lazar, the executive director of advertising and media operations; and a top finance executive.

And if that doesn’t do it, nothing will! Just kidding. I’m no Ad Czar, but even I know something is better than nothing. If only just.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 28 comments
  • Billc83 Billc83 on Aug 03, 2009

    Still, this ad is much better than the Malibu ad a while back where, near the end, they sold OnStar by saying something along the lines of: "None of the competition has that. Camry. Accord." The way they snuck in those last two names (real quick) really got me. I found it to be in bad taste.

  • ThorS ThorS on Aug 04, 2009

    Here's an idea - a crazy one - on how to up the salesfigures: MAKE BETTER CARS!?!

  • Mkco Mkco on Aug 04, 2009

    These are good ads! Making straightforward comparisons in a clever way. Much better than the silly, "cutsey" stuff we usually get from carmakers. (Or insulting, absurd stuff like the pre-Lutz Lacrosse ad.) I must admit I was skeptical when I first heard Lutz was taking over advertising. But if these ads are any indication, I say: Great Move!

  • John R John R on Aug 04, 2009

    @spyspeed: No, you'll just be identified with these guys. There is a reason why Civics are routinely molested, they are...GASP...actually engaging to drive! This ad is terrible and dishonest. Why don't they compare a Civic Si to the Cobalt XFE while their at it? If you're going to be disingenuous reach for the stars, guys. Also, as anybody here actually driven a Cobalt/G5? Jesus Christ what a crap box! Sure it might have an extra 1-3 mpg, but what an AWFUL drive. It makes the Civic seem like a TSX. Not to mention the 4-cyl Malibu isn't that hot either. Why do the tillers in these two feel hollow? And that lawnmower bit at the end, what a laugh; however, not in the way it was intended. In a way they insulted the same people their trying to sell to. Not a great move. Especially when you couple the fact that Honda lawnmowers, as others have mentioned, command a premium. "Yeah, seeeeee. Your Civic is no better their lawnmowers, chummmmmmmmmmp." “It’s got to be a funny story; it’s got to be humorous; it’s got to be unexpected,” Lutz says. Why is it that every time I read that bit it sounds like Lutz comes from the same home as former senator Ted Stevens? Did someone forget to include, "...that'll show those whipper-snappers!" at the end of the quote? Man oh man does GM marketing make me mad. Can someone please take these guys out of the '50s? I just wish they would slice ALL of their marketing and ad budgets in half and spend that money saved on actually making better, not just competitive cars. I'm sick of seeing this and the other two smack-talk ads they have 15 times during the same two-three hour Eagles game. As someone said, be like Hyundai and put your money where your mouth is.