• Sep 18, 2009
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By now we've all seen the commercial for General Motors that features the company's new chairman, Ed Whitacre, introducing its "Satisfaction Guaranteed" 60-day return program. Good stuff, but that commercial was just an opening salvo in the company's upcoming marketing assault. We've got the next four commercials for you right here, set to air late Sunday evening during The Emmys and NFL games. We particularly like the one above that compares the new GMC Terrain to the Mini Cooper S with an automatic transmission since both get 32 mpg highway (NOTE: a Cooper S with a manual achieves 34 mpg highway). Sure, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, but the stark contrast in size makes a big point. What's even more interesting than their matching highway mpg numbers is that the Mini's 23 mpg city is just 1 mpg better than the Terrain. Follow the jump to the other three new GM commercials that will air this weekend, one of which directly compares the 2010 Buick LaCrosse to a Lexus ES350.

[Source: GM]


Buick LaCrosse vs. Lexus ES350



Chevy Full-Line vs. Toyota



2010 GMC Terrain


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  • 109 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      what is gm thinking ?? this thing is butt ugly. i dont want to be seen in it. the mini was nice, bmw is thinking " thanks for the free ad "
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its a good start. But even in the face of facts, import lovers will still believe Toyota or Honda make the best or most fuel effecient cars. Its going to take at least ten straight years of home runs from GM to begin to reverse it, I think. Plus with a few more PR distasters that Toyota is going through, maybe it won't take quite as long.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Frankly even if the Cobalt gets 2mpg better mileage on the highway and had identical reliability to the Corolla I'd probably buy a Corolla over it. Partly because I drive in city conditions 95% of the time (where the Corolla has the edge by 1mpg), and partly because the Cobalt's interior actually manages to look cheap compared to the Corolla's even though the newer Corollas have an interior that makes old Toyotas all seem like Lexuses.
        The Corolla would probably disappoint me with the fact that the seats aren't nearly as good as they should be, and the fact that the doors have way too much hard plastic in them.
        But the Cobalt would easily one up that by shoving gigantic hard-plastic covered beams towards my head and exposing the ceiling liner's foam material (easily visible as you crane your neck back so your head will fit in the back seat).
        You know what's funny? Even in a Chevy commercial comparing lineups they know the Aveo is such a piece of crap that they can never, ever, mention it lest people begin laughing at the idea of the Aveo being better than a Yaris.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Dave, maybe you missed the part where I mentioned I have had no problems with any of my Hondas or Toyota in the last 500K miles I have owned them. So I don't care about what interior looks better or any inconsequential detail like that. To me, most cars are appliances and they need to go about getting from A to B with out drama for at least 10 years or 200K miles. The money I save is spent on motorcycles! So your criteria does not match mine, no big deal.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @IOMTT

        That would be the stupidest decision of your life if you buy the CR-2 over the Equinox. The Equinox is much better in everything quietness, roominess, interior quality and fit and finish and in my opinion much prettier than the CR-2. If you are seriously thinking about buying a car I would pick the Equinox no doubt and so will anyone with a right mind. I wouldn't care about the apr or anything I would even pick it if it's 10k more. That just shows how biased some people are. The brand doesn't matter but the car does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, brand matters as well as the car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Great point. I am going to look at the Equinox/Terrain, but after many years of perfect reliability and performance from the Hondas and Toyota in my stable, I will probably end up with a CRV. GM could entice me to buy a Terrain, but they would have to get very aggressive on price or offer me 0% financing. Therein lies the rub...can GM get to the point they can charge enough money for their cars to turn a profit? Sometimes I do feel some guilt about not buying Big 3, but then again, I spent over $100K on GM vehicles in the 90's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seen a Terrian today and I gotta say it look really good. i didnt really like the photos but after seeing one today, all cromed out with that Phat grill, I'd put it on my short list, before the equinox. This is the more manly version, although I've seen the equinox and its quite compelling as well. As for the Buick, Kudos because this Lacross is very nice especially in the white CXL or CXS package. I'd take it over a the lexus just to avoid the "snob" persona I get from lexus drivers. Not even gonna take it there with Caddy. Always have been a caddy man. We had a 90' Sedan Deville. Baby Blue, white top, white interior.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most basic rule of advertising: don't talk about the competition and give them free ad time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Providing comparison tools online as a small part of a web site is one thing, putting the competition's name and products up front is another. GM is paying top dollar to tout itself and its own products. Itself and it's products should dominate the message. Both in VO and visually. They are not spending money to show how they similar to other brands.

        Given the short timing of TV spots, there is a lot going on. To spend the majority of it mentioning and featuring the competition amounts to admitting defeat... especially in cases where the cars look very similar at a glance. If GM wants to say their cars are just as good, then they should focus attention on their own products. Present it confidently and let them stand on their own, invite and challenge viewers to do the comparison on their own.

        There is a proper place for side-by-side comparisons. TV spots, where air-time is expensive and attention span is short, is NOT the proper place.

        A good advertiser knows which medium to use for what purpose. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. There is more to be learned in advertising outside of business school. Period.
        • 5 Years Ago
        1. The medium that captivates the most people is television.
        2. GM has to overcome a perception gap in relation to the quality of its products.
        3. To do this, GM must place itself head to head, toe to toe with the competition.
        4. Comparing the products to their most direct competitor ups the perception if the product is felt or is superior.
        5. Upping Buick to Lexus level in the public's mind is rather an amazing feet, surpassing it is even better.

        This strategy has been used by Hyundai to launch the Genesis, and it has worked - this technique is usually hit or miss depending on the product. Kia's attempts back a while ago were typically met with failure because their products were subpar, or basically as much money as you paid for - the direct Camry/Malibu competition game was literally dropped because of GM's mitigated success at the same campaign with the Aura. Why? Because the car only matched, not surpassed the competition - why gamble on reliability if both companies are offering the same -perceived- quality?

        30 seconds is enough to make the points they're making - mileage and quality. The photographic quality demonstrates the superiority of the Lacrosse, while the sheer size comparo demonstrates the superior efficiency of the Terrain/Equinox combo.

        If you've got a superior product (or a great bang for the buck) but no street credit, the way to go is the comparo. People will often disregard brand if they clearly get more for less, it doesn't matter if it's a car or food, they just will.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nor are you.

        Using the competition to up the street cred of your products definitely works. There's a reason they put up comparison tools online, there's also a reason why automotive reviews exists - it's to remove the 'burden' (not in my opinion) of car shopping from the shoulders of customers. If someone's into mileage and green cred, they'll go directly to Toyota regardless of the competition's numbers because 'that's what my husband says' or whatever. This proves/shows them otherwise.

        The Buick Lexus comparo tries to demonstrate in a limited time frame that Buick's competing offering is superior inside out and even with the price point to the competition. They could even go as far as backing it up with rewards and quality reliability reports, but displaying trophys received from a company few know or even care about is rather pointless most of the time - and most if not all reliability surveys don't answer a question plenty of import fans have on their lips; "how will it be ten years from now?".
        • 5 Years Ago
        And you're clearly not in advertising. Unless you're one of retarded AEs who'll do whatever the client asks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You clearly didn't attend any business schools.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good comercials - Remind me of the Mac/Pc adds (only not funny).
      • 5 Years Ago
      These ads are really good and make it clear where GM is dominant. I also like how the Buick LaCrosse gives the Lexus ES a run for its money and how GM pokes fun of Lexus for this as well.
      That said, the GMC Terrain still doesn't make sense to me (though the Chevrolet Equinox is very nice, IMO).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Excellent ads, straight to the point plus the WOW factor.

      Love it. Great job GM on both ends - vehicles and marketing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quiet Brian.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, screw me sideways.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i'll second that. MINI FTW. btw to get 32mpg in a mini on the highway you need to be driving at least 85 and i know this from experience. as long as you drive the speed limit and normally you will average at least 38mpg hwy. i use the cruise control on mine in the highway and stick to the speed limit and i get 42mpg with an 08' Cooper S AUTO. yes i may be one of the slower ones on the highway but i dont care. put this GMC in to the hands of any normal SUV driver and it will never. ever. see 32mpg.
      it urks me how companies compair their best rating against another cars worst.
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from peter314:
        -"put this GMC in to the hands of any normal SUV driver and it will never. ever. see 32mpg." -

        Using that logic, if you put them into the Cooper S, they won't achieve 32mpg either. You're stating that how you drive affects how economical the vehicle is, that's a well-know fact and not really rocket science.

        Also using that same logic, if you can squeeze 38mpg out of a Cooper S, then you could likely squeeze a few more mpg's out of a Terrain as well. There's a reason Monroney stickers have a disclaimer that gives a range of mileage figures for a vehicle and not one set that every driver will achieve.

        But, alas, we are talking about figures from a know source here (the EPA), not theoretical figures or anecdotal evidence, so your experience is effectively moot.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The Mini comparison is the best one , but it should be with the Equinox.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And the Buick commercial misses the point. With luxury cars, its about the BADGE as well as the CAR. You can complain about that, but it's true.

      Some rich young couple trying to keep up with the Jonses aren't going to consider a Buick, they'd be embarrassed to have their neighbors see them in "grandmas car". Meanwhile, by buying an entry-level Lexus, they get a badge that is shared with the LS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from Brian:

        - "Meanwhile, by buying an entry-level Lexus, they get a badge that is shared with the LS." -

        ...........which their grandmothers also drive.

        Using Lexus to call Buicks buyers old is definitely the pot calling the kettle black there.

        It's absolutely anecdotal, but nonetheless, I have an older(as in 70+) coworker of mine and he can't stop raving about how the Lexus ES he bought for his wife is the greatest car he's ever seen or heard about.

        It's not just Buicks that attract old folks there buddy, look up the stats, Lexus's average age is right there with them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lexus doesn't have the stigma of "grandma's car". It is all about what people think, they don't care about statistics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe not with you, but for a lot of people, it certainly does and their average buyer age absolutely shows it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I most definitely associate Lexus with "OLD".
        • 5 Years Ago
        If it is about the badge as well as the car, how did Lexus get to where they are? Huh?

        Oh yes, and Lexus is definitely an old farts car. Except the IS. That is either a young poseur/ricer with a large bankroll or a weak mid life crisis. Either way I wouldn't want to drive any of them. If you gave me one, I'd sell it to some retiree...
      • 5 Years Ago
      To be honest they should compared the V6 version of the Terrain to the Cooper S.
      Anyways I actually appreciate seeing a "smaller" engine in a large CUV/crossover : I hope this trend will continue and that regular sedan will be equipped with 1.6 to 2.0 engine, because, really, I don't need 200 HP in my family car to go grocery shopping. You know like a Accord with 120 HP. heck if BMW can offer 1.6 L in its 3 Series in Europe, why not here??
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