• Feb 1, 2007


You didn't think the only commercial General Motors would air during the big game on Sunday would be a spot made by a bunch of college kids, did you? No, GM has its own ad in the works that won't have to work hard to beat the flop it fielded last year. A 30-second preview of the ad has been released on YouTube, and it appears the ad is for General Motors as a whole and not any one specific brand. The star of the spot is Robot, an articulating mechanical arm with some serious self-esteem issues that works in a GM assembly plant. Turns out that the little guy doesn't know what to do with himself when the cars he helps assemble roll off the factory floor. He's so distraught that he takes a job as a drive-thru order box, and then pitches himself off a roof to end it all. It's funny, but a little strange, too. Not that the ad agency intended this, but it feels like you're watching a union member who just lost his job. It's just a preview, however, so we'll wait until the full 60-second version airs on Sunday to pass judgment. Once it goes live, you'll also be able to check it out by visiting this site.

[Source: One of GM's many ad agencies]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Don't put on a big, irrelevant show to distract consumers from the product."

      I see what they are trying to do. A couple things here. First, it is for (debuting on) the Big Game (the NFL wouldn't approve of my use of the real term, I'm sure) and so straight talk would just be wasted probably on those expecting mindless entertainment (during the commercials). And second, it is sort of a subliminal way of "showing" that they are not just "saying" they are changing, the production line is stopped just like we all hear the Japanese do and everyone building the vehicle gives the stare, etc.

      Playing the perception game. In a way, you just saw GM stop the assembly line for a problem that wasn't acceptable. Not that your commerical suggestion wouldn't be a nice way to go as well showing the product is very good. Nothing wrong with having both types of commercials that's all.

      Actually, I just watched it a couple more times. It might not be that bad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I will never buy a GM car after it made the decision to air this ad in the first place. First of all, it made no sense. And secondly, one of the most painful and disappointing aspects of our society is that suicide is used as a form of humor so often. Suicide is a just as relevant and serious a public health issue as any other disease or cause of death, and I hope that people in the advertising and entertainment industries will eventually recognize it as such.
      Like Andy who commented above, I go everyday thinking about having lost my Dad in 2001. And it makes it much worse to have to see things like this in ads and tv shows constantly, and to imagine that there are people in our society who actually think it's funny.
      • 8 Years Ago
      John, the ad is meant to depict the robot dropping the screw, which results in other line workers banishing it from the line due to GM's obsession with quality.

      The result is, he doesn't know what to do with himself. It's 30 seconds from the full commercial which is going to be used to promote GM's 100k 5 year power train warranty.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree, from the portion we saw it is confusing and really setting up GM for comments about layoffs.

      Now, here is a better (without seeing the whole thing I am assuming here) idea IMO...

      The robot has the drop problem. Is led into the office and talked to by the manager (so we realize that that is the problem and why he is pulled off the assembly line). "We have a 100K mile warranty and you really aren't cutting it on our assembly lines... but we decided we have the perfect position for you" (no not upper management collecting TPS reports). Then the robot is shown through glass windows in a room that is labeled something like "Drop Testing" or "Parts Stress Testing" or something. And he is continuously picking up and dropping. Then of course the gratuitous nod to the manager through the window or something like this is what I really should be doing.

      As in, we (GM) are smart enough to see each person (or robots) strengths and we can make things work sometimes even when we run into problems as long as you are willing to work with us reasonably.

      The F'ing car industry (especially) in the U.S. is all about perception. No misunderstood moves or misunderstood commercials anymore. I just read (just didn't realize it before) on autoblog that Honda sells Acuras as Hondas everywhere else. Why? It makes since that it is because perception is everything.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think that maybe someone other than just the robot will be out looking for a job. Whoever approved that is definately going to be on the hunt. Maybe they should hire the pitchman from the advertising company because he has to be using some Jedi mind control to be able to have that garbage approved for air.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think its foreshadowing, GM will be laying of a lot of workers. American Revolution too bad it resembles the Great Depression.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kind of confusing and kind of sad (literally), even if it is a robot. How many people have lost their jobs over the past years? Not really a jovial topic. Doesn't really make we want to buy a GM car either. I think the concept is good but from the snippet here I'd have to give it a D for execution. Maybe the full version will be better.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I actually like the commercial, it is fun, but it doesn't make me want to buy a GM. It does, however, make me remember the commercial, and GM, so it keeps it in the consumer's mind. That is what most commercials are meant to do:

      Make to separate that company from a crowd, and remember it when you are in the market for a product they sell.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the robot dropped the part. the line was probably moving at about 75 jobs an hour and he fumbled. it had happened to him (it) before so he was given a warning the first time and the second time he was given 3 days off with no pay so he could think about it (after all he was doing this on purpose). so now he is on his third time and has been fired for being incompetent. note, i seriously doubt that most of the formen can perform the tasks the workers do on the lines in plants, yet because some industrial engineer that probably never worked on a line writes down instructions and says this is what is to be done and how to do it the forman that cannot do the job and has no idea in the first place goes by said instructions.
      Tom andrews
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey Everyone...check out this web site, barbaraterry.com
      http://barbaraterry.com/
      This lady is a total car expert and really has it going on!