By on July 19, 2021

2022 GMC Terrain AT4

We here at TTAC love it when there’s a bad car ad — because we get to rip it apart.

And now we have one from GMC — and no, it’s not the annoyingly Yuppie “I love it” people.

This centers around the AT4 off-road trim that’s available across the lineup. In order to show how capable the AT4-equipped SUVs and trucks are, we get shown a Lamborghini, Bentley, and Genesis sedan, all stuck in off-road situations that they’re not built to handle, all spinning their wheels uselessly.

The voiceover then says “think premium can’t be capable? Think again.”

The point of the ad is obviously to say that upscale trucks and SUVs are just as good off-road as cheaper ones. Which is a fine argument to make, especially if you sell luxury trucks and SUVs. And surely the GMC AT4 stuff is capable off-road.

That said, the Lambo is capable of driving fast on-road and the Bentley is capable of going fast and offering comfort and the Genesis is also capable of being comfortable. Those cars just aren’t capable off-road, and that’s obvious to anyone with eyes and common sense.

Who in their right mind is going to try to boulder bash in a Lambo? Rock-crawl the forest in a Bentley? Slide across a sand dune in a Genesis?

The ad does show the AT4s acting capably in off-road situations, to be fair. But why not compare it to actual competing vehicles? GMC isn’t the only one building upscale trucks and SUVs. Or why not spend more time hyping the abilities of your vehicles instead of pointing out the obvious?

Indeed, if one really wanted to overthink it, the ad could almost imply that the AT4 can’t keep up with the competition, so it has to show that it would be better than cars that aren’t made to go off-road. As if the bar is that low.

Obviously, that’s not GMC’s intent. The intent is to show that the AT4s can be excellent off-road without sacrificing luxury. But the execution is poor.

Swing and a miss, guys.

[Image: GMC]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

43 Comments on “Let’s Talk About a Terrible GMC Ad...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Agreed – terrible.

    It would be fun to pit the AWD products from those competitors against the GMC stuff, like a Bentayga, GV80, or Urus.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I distinctly remember a GMC ad for Quadrasteer trucks that highlighted “A TIGHTER TURNING CIRCLE THAN A LAMBORGHINI DIABLO”.

  • avatar
    Urlik

    Every time I see this commercial I just say Land Rover.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    I love it!

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    “Who in their right mind is going to try to boulder bash in a Lambo? Rock-crawl the forest in a Bentley? Slide across a sand dune in a Genesis?”

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?extid=SEO—-&v=716256962358022

    Oh, sorry. You did say “in their right mind”. Nevermind.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think Genesis should air an ad showing one of those ridiculous $80,000 GMC rigs trying to turn a tight corner at over 30 mph.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Through association, isn’t GM trying to say their GM Denali AT4 stuff is as luxurious but more capable offroad?

    The only reason I’d want an AT4 GM Sierra over the Chevy TrailBoss is engine choice. I can get a 6.2 V8 or diesel in the AT4. Chevy is the second class citizen.

  • avatar

    First of all, that flip-up plastic HUD is terrible and like something from the 90s. You can see how poorly finished it is (:45).

    Second, that Bentley (with faux Mercedes front) has AWD and would not be spinning its rear wheels that way. Same for the Lamborghini.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Terrible is the standard for automobile commercials on television. In fifty years, I can remember only four good ones. Two were from Porsche. One was from Honda. (It had a cute sound track which they proceeded to ruin in subsequent broadcasts.) The fourth was from GM. It featured a TransAm Camaro, circa 1970, on a road course, clearly trying hard. It appeared only a few times before disappearing. I always wondered if someone whined about showing a racing car at speed in a car commercial.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      Soooo… not a fan of the Kia hamsters, then?

    • 0 avatar
      northeaster

      Oh c’mon. How can you hate the Peter Stormare ads for VAG?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed. Most car ads tell you nothing about the vehicle.

      I did like the Pacer ad in which the deli boss makes a 5-ft wide sandwich in the back seat. And there was the Lincoln ad in which a jeweler cuts a priceless diamond in the back seat to demonstrate how smooth the ride is.

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        I have a vague recollection that Saturday Night Live did a take off on the diamond cutting commercial. In the SNL version, it was a rabbi performing a circumcision. I don’t remember if they hit a bump.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      GI Joe in the remote controlled Z32 Nissan 300Z picking up Barbie while Ken looks on in horror all with a Van Halen soundtrack is pretty much the peak of automotive comercials in my lifetime.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Dr. Rick the parenta-life coach… I don’t know who came up with it but it is hysterical to me. The way he touches them… it’s something else. And the fact that the key term tying the whole series together is something as evocative as home, shows progressive hit the nail on the head with whomever they hired to do them.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    *Do not attempt. Optional features shown.*

    You can go offroad, but please don’t. If something breaks, we won’t cover it anyway.

  • avatar
    Rboz

    It reminds me of the old Toyota (4Runner?) commercial when it was drag racing a Lotus Esprit. When the lights go out on the tree, the drag strip ends at 100 yards and turns into off road park. Very funny

  • avatar
    dwford

    There is an epidemic of advertising trying to butch up soft roaders. Whether it’s Kia showing the Sorento climbing up questionable rocky terrain to Honda’s “we aren’t wimpy” ads, it’s really ridiculous. Have they run out of women to sell to, so they are trying to appeal to men with Marlboro Man editions? Just stop. These things go to the mall and back. That’s it.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I don’t know…the whole “You have an Alexa. No it’s a Buick” series of commercials had me stifling rage towards a commercial. That was pretty bad.

    But we can have all commercials be like Toyota commercials. They, long ago, gave up really showing their cars. Now it’s a wretched cover jingle playing over this month’s best lease and finance deals.

    At least BMW and Porsche show their cars doing things we wish we could do with ours, except for traffic, insurance, desire not to crash while still having payments, etc.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    GM is so pathetic, they can’t make luxury car or trucks period. They price their cars and trucks so high and want people to believe they’re premium autos. Pound per pound they’re the most overpriced car company. Real luxury is a lexus lx470, MB gwagen or a Porsche cayenne. But I guess only dumb people pay for a overrated chevy silverado with a cap. That’s all they are.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    GM is so pathetic, they can’t make luxury car or trucks period. They price their cars and trucks so high and want people to believe they’re premium autos. Pound per pound they’re the most overpriced car company. Real luxury is a lexus lx470, MB gwagen or a Porsche cayenne. But I guess only dumb people pay for a overrated chevy silverado with a cap. That’s all they are.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Cannot possibly be any worse than the Chevrolet `real people ads` .

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So AT4 is now the name for the Denali trim? Who cares.

    Perusing their site I see the GMC minivans are also getting the ALL NEW FIRST EVER FAKE TOUGH AT4 trim.

    Why can’t I get the SUPER NOT TOUGH GRRRR MUD OFFROAD AT4 trim on my GMC Savana passenger van? Is the Savana not PROFESSIONAL GRADE enough?

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      This is the correct take. It’s the AT4 that’s the lame-o move.

      Also, let me fix that first sentence for you: We here at TTAC love a bad car ad –

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    “And just to prove that we’re a premium brand, when your poorly made LED taillights fail, we’ll charge you $700 for the replacement!”

  • avatar
    OA5599

    Ugh! Umpteenth time GM has used the lame “The first ever…” Started with Pontiac G6.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    To me, the ad as they presented it, blares out “our target market is stupid people, people with very low IQs”.

    Then there’s that GMC ad touting, wait for it, painted black wheels!!! Again refer above for the same target market. :(

  • avatar
    ajla

    This was a real commercial:
    youtube.com/watch?v=TWsDTvwQng4

  • avatar
    brn

    Unless it’s an ad for a new performance vehicle from Dodge, all automotive ads are terrible. This one is actually a little above average (a low bar).

  • avatar
    deanst

    The point of the ad is to get people to associate AT4 with luxurious autos – and even position them as bargains as they can do “more”. It may be a dumb strategy, but it’s not the strategy you think it is.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    We only picked one GMC ad? One? I mean has GMC ever had a good ad?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      This one is relatively interesting:

      https://youtu.be/QJxc7ZaLL8A

      (The size of 270 football fields)
      https://www.gmc.com/gmc-life/news/yukon-worlds-biggest-tweet

  • avatar
    Jamblastx

    OMG…thank you. I cannot stand this ad for so many reasons and its almost like every little thing defies any sort of logic. From the luxury/supercar knockoffs struggling to rock climb (all of which HAVE actual SUV models in their libeup) as pointed out to the term ‘…the first ever AT4’…like that means anything.

    I remember when the Pontiac G6 was introduced, it seems that they were the first one to use the term ‘first ever’ when introducing a new model….as if it was going to be iconic, so you better get on the ground floor or you will be missing out. And since then, a bunch of other forgettable models have used that hackneyed approach.

    Then really GMC? You really think that your ‘premium’ models are in the same stratosphere with a Lamborghini…or a Bentley? Do you find many Hurracan/Acadia cross shoppers? Jeez

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Car ads have been crap for so long, I haven’t paid attention to any since Nissan’s Barbie and Ken spot.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • teddyc73: “though”
  • teddyc73: I feel like I just fell into the mind of a Millennial hipster dufus. Listing Target, Whole Foods and Trader...
  • bullnuke: Come on now, eggsalad. Just as we know that meat is made in the backroom of the grocery store, we just know...
  • ABC-2000: James May’s Cars of the People, season 2 Ep1 about 24 min in, the real reason why american cars fail...
  • Kendahl: I’m thinking about replacing my 14-year-old Infiniti G37S coupe with a Tesla long range Model 3. One...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

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