Detroit - The verdict is still out on whether the new-car-buying consumer will ultimately be swayed by General Motors Corporation's (GM) new advertising campaign. GM launched the campaign three weeks ago at the beginning of the third quarter. To date, GM's year over year and month to month sales numbers have not shown the increases the company was obviously hoping to see. The results portend a rough overall year for the world's second-largest automaker.
The new advertising campaign is called "Pleeeeeease!" and includes television and radio commercials, print advertising and commercials on the premium streaming service HuluPlus.
The advertisements include a diminished focus on actual GM product features, such as the performance or luxury elements of a particular vehicle. Rather, each advertisement is centered around a person who is supposed to represent an 'average' GM worker. For example, one of the television commercials features a woman with a GM employee badge who faces into the camera and says "Pleeeeeease buy a GM car! Pleeeeeease! I need my job, I've got kids, a mortgage." The commercial then switches to images of bread lines, homeless people, and starving children with a voice over regarding how we as Americans should not force GM employees and their families into poverty. The commercial ends with that average employee again facing the camera and saying "We're trying really hard to make sure our cars don't kill you, honest. It's hard, but we're trying. PLEEEEEEASE buy a GM car!"
GM emerged in 2009 from a U.S. Government-backed Chapter 11 reorganization and appeared to be on track for at least somewhat of a comeback. However, several scandals have rocked the company including the latest in which GM failed to make a 59 cent fix to faulty ignition systems. To date, the deaths of 13 people have been blamed on the failure of the ignition system. GM has tried to deflect responsibility for the deaths by claiming that the decisions about the ignition systems were made pre-Chapter 11, and were therefore made by a different company than the current GM.
Regardless of the actual legal outcome of this latest scandal and whether the "new" GM is held liable, many industry analysts agree that some consumers will continue to buy GM vehicles because you can't fix stupid.