• Sep 26th 2006 at 12:10AM
  • 48
The PR people at GM have described their new line of GMT900 pickups as, "the most important product release in General Motor's history," and it very well may be. With a new player in the market in the form of the Tundra and a new F-150 due in the near future, the General is banking on the Silverado and the Sierra to shore up the pickup truck segment in its favor.

To that end, its new ad campaign is aiming directly at who GM feels is its target demographic: rural, married men who love their families, their jobs and their country.

The new spots, which will debut during Monday Night Football, are a look back on the last 50 years of American culture, including the good, the bad and the profound. John Mellencamp serenades over images of baseball, farms and other assorted Americana, including an image of the "Towers of Light" that emanated from Ground Zero after the attacks of 9/11 and, oddly, an image of an atomic bomb test.

Our blogging brethren over at Jalopnik have a full report from the media event they attended and give a more detailed synopsis, along with some analysis of the General's newest ad campaign.

[Source: Jalopnik]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      One of the great things about the U.S. is freedom of the press. I'm glad that Chevrolet has the right to publish such an ad, but I feel that it is in extremely poor taste.

      If the use of emotionally charged images to hawk a product does not evoke at least a mild reaction of disgust, then perhaps we either lack the intellect or the good judgement to know that Chevrolet is attempting to prey upon our patriotism for their own gain. Shame on them for such a tacky and desperate ad campaign; shame on us if it is in any measure successful.

      Perhaps in the future GM can rescue itself by building automobiles with styling that Americans actually want, and with technology and reliability to compete with imports. But it really doesn't seem that relying on brand loyalty and emotionally-charged ad campaigns would be a sound strategy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #31 to finishedshysterschool.. boy you have a lot of nerve calling UAW workers "useless".. at least they do something constructive. have you ever done any thing that you can walk 3 steps from and say i did that? other than try to bilk some one out of money?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the ad should work. I'm not the patriotic type, and I don't even like American cars, but Chevrolet really is as American as apple pie, and I have no problem with GM associating their truck with the good and the bad times Americans have been through.
      And I think Jalopnik ve overreacted on the nuclear part, calling it a subconscious reference to a certain rival from the land of the rising sun. I haven't seen it but I'm assuming it's really a reference back to the cold war of the 50's. I well remember how we schoolkids were trained to duck under the desk in case of a bomb attack. That's part of the bad times we've been through. It's probably not a good idea to include it, but the interpretation is way off. And the first comment by sajeevmehta on Jalopnik is uninformed an idiotic.
      By the way, I own a 2005 Silverado work truck, as basic as can be, and it has been a flawless performer on our farm--love it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, it is all going to boil down to the quality of the vehicles, obviously.

      The current Silverado/Sierra is not bad, so if they improve on that at all, it should be a decent truck. Plus, they have the best diesel engine (Duramax), and the best heavy duty transmission (Allison) of the bunch.

      BTW, a pickup is not an "agricultural vehicle." They are used for many other types of work. Do some people buy them as commuting vehicles? Undoubtedly. But people drive ricers, Escalades and all sorts of other silly things. There's no accounting for taste.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree wholeheartedly with fizzandpop. There is nothing inherently wrong with patriotism, and with trying to give a car a "national" feel. Injecting character is something to be encouraged actually in these days of lookalike "white-goods" cars.

      If the car can live up to this character, though. I am no fan of agricultural machinery masquerading as vehicles, yet if there is a market for them in the US General Motors should take some time to come up with a quality brand new offering that can embody this "American Pride".

      What it's doing, I'm afraid, is using cheap bullying tactics (normally the reserve of politicians) to move stock that would otherwise not have sold as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Andy,

      How did I go to an extreme? It's not my commercial...

      I was speaking of the scene of a terrorist attack, not images of the actual attack itself.

      It's just a cheap ploy to yank on people's emotions. Whether it's true or not, that's something I'd expect a company to do when the product isn't good enough to sell on its own merit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Using subtle "forrener-bashing" to sell your products is all well and good, and judging by the heated reaction of many posters I can only assume that it will have some success.

      However instead of relying on such cheap tactics wouldn't it make more sense for GM and Ford to set up a joint Truck Technology Research Facility? Your trucks are relatively antique as regards automotive technology, and I'm sure American researchers can rival anything the Japanese can throw at you.

      Such a centre would investigate such techs as weight-reduction, aerodynamics, etc, as related to the truck environment. Any benefits would then be adopted between GM and Ford, leaving Toyota lagging behind.

      But that would take much more effort than simple plying on nationalist feelings ahead of the November elections, wouldn't it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The "patriotic" card is being tossed around by everyone in business and polity. Toyota and Hyundai have been touting the same card, telling of how their products are built in the American heartland. #3 (33R) seems to have gone to an extreme, bringing up "images of terrorist attacks." I think that kind of hysteria is not serious.

      This marketing effort will be controversial, but it throws P.C. mentality out the window. And that's not a bad thing. I'm sure Toyota will portray the Tacoma as a real American pickup as well.

      As for the Dakota remark--nah, it doesn't look like one. It's not a real big change in looks, but neither is the new G35, Mini, or Tiburon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "26. 25. Don't you think that GM reverting to stirring up patriotic pride to sell its trucks shows it is:

      a. desperate
      b. not confident of thr truck's success?

      Posted at 8:53AM on Sep 26th 2006 by Michael F 0 stars
      ------------------------------------------------------

      Not any more than Toyota. So there.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/26/business/media/26adco.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin


      Posted at 9:48AM on Sep 26th 2006 by Jamie 0 stars"

      -Ya know Jamie, if needed I would die FOR YOU in a heartbeat. And SOLEY becuase you are an American. If my life alone was needed to save this country I would gladly hand it over. That is REAL patriotism.

      -You see, it's not about loving or hating Bush. It's not about some General Motors AD that causes a knee jerk reaction to buy based on patriotism rather than a products merits.

      -Personally, I hate Bush and with a passion... But I would die for him, a fellow American.

      -Personally, I can't stand the perspective republicans have lost... But I would die for a fellow American.

      -If Americans associated a products place of orgin with patriotism almost EVERYTHING would be made in the USA.

      -Would you die for me Jamie? A fellow American?
      • 8 Years Ago
      i love how the idiots come out to play whenever a domestic car company is questioned for its actions/tactics. apparently, that automatically equates to treason and we should all be hanged. man, i love my country!

      and anyway, who are you guys to decide whether i'm "American" or "anti-American"? i'd venture to guess that my family has done more for this country than you ever have/ever will.. you remind me of those politicians who have never even stepped into the military, or have kids in the military, yet assume they're the most patriotic Americans ever...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh lordy ,
      Seems like GM's add campaign is about as redneck as can get ! Please ,the flag waving ,oil riggers,old boy with hunting Labs -get outa' here !What no beer drinking ,gun toting ,square dancing, bearded wonder ?
      It is an improved tank ,oh eh truck . I personally won't be selling my Mexican built Toyota Tacoma for that POS anytime soon . Just don't trust GM and thier vehicles .
      In my humble opinion -GM "An American Revulsion"
      • 8 Years Ago
      it's interesting to see all the comments about a truck that isn't out yet, and a commercial that has never even aired.

      this market is very important to GM, and they can't afford to make any mistakes. I think they just might know a few things about advertising, too.

      if you were selling 600,000 or 700,000 of something (like GM does with full size pickups), you hopefully learn something. you learn what you buyers want in the way of power; usually three choices for half-ton pickups, a V-6, smaller V-8, and a larger V-8; now let's compare that to Toyota. a V-6, and one V-8 (which, incidentially, they didn't plan on increasing power for until the Titan appeared); and the Nissan, one choice, a 305 horsepower V-8.

      on the inside, you learn about utility and comfort. does that include ass-on-the-floor seating (like the Tundra), shoulder belt floor/roof anchorages on extended cabs much like a late 70's Ford product (also the Tundra), or your two choices of gray interiors (like the Titan)? oh, and let's not forget about "option packages" that the imports have, requiring purchase of things you really don't want, to get the things you do. the lowly domestic companies realize that many folks want to build exactly the truck they want, and make almost everything available separately.

      I was glad to learn yesterday that Toyota and Nissan have decided to pull back from the heavy-duty truck market "for now". just like an old SNL skit, they're the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players".

      the heavy duty (3/4-one ton) market is an even tougher one to crack; these aren't "play trucks"...and Nissan or Toyota don't have a single diesel, or large gas V-8 that this market segment requires.

      the import companies have constantly 'missed the mark' with their larger-than-little truck offerings. remember the T-100? how many different versions of the Tundra (and in varying widths) have we seen? all they've ever needed to do was directly copy (they're very good at this, anyway) a domestic pickup, but they never did.

      I'm sure the GM trucks will do very well, and hold their present sales position as #2. it's probably best for the Japanese to go back building little teeny cars; the truck market is one they will only ever be minor players in.

      Mike



    • Load More Comments