• May 21, 2010
It seems a pretty safe assumption that if Joel Ewanick agreed to join General Motors as its Vice President of Marketing after less than two months in the same job at Nissan, he must have been promised a lot. Specifically, he was probably given complete control over everything marketing related for all four remaining brands at GM. If so, it appears that Ewanick is jumping in with both feet. It was only a few weeks ago that Chevrolet announced that it was moving its advertising account away from Campbell-Ewald after 91 years and now Advertising Age is reporting that the old agency may be back in the picture – although likely in a lesser capacity.
The agencies involved with Chevrolet business haven't even figured out who was being hired and laid off yet, and already Ewanick is indicating that everything is changing again. If Chevy is up for grabs again so soon, the recently awarded Cadillac account could be opened up again as well. While the opportunities are huge for gaining new business, we foresee a lot of sleepless nights ahead in the coming weeks for ad agencies hoping to do work for GM.

[Source: Advertising Age]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So why is this guy such a marketing genius? Is it just due to the one Assurance campaign that ran in early 2009? The same marketing team did a $1.49 gas for a year campaign later in '09 and that didn't do much. Then they added Assurance guarantee with some free monthly car payments, basically just a minor extension of the original idea. And what Hyundai ad does everyone think was so great the last couple years? There have been some memorable Kia ads - sock monkey and hamsters - but I don't believe those are from Ewanick. So where is this genius beyond the Assurance idea, which albeit was an excellent idea but it was just one. Is that all that is needed to be a genius in marketing? Probably.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Genius" is probably a stretch, but the fact that he is an outsider is important in that he's there for the long-haul. No way they will fire him after all the effort it took to get him there. Recent internal promotions at GM have not kept their jobs, and with each new change has come a change in direction.

        What GM has not is a clear leader of their marketing (they got it). Hopefully he brings what Lutz did for design, a clear direction that will not flip-flop with a rotating door of leadership.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Henry,

        I do agree it is a major milestone for GM to finally bring in a CMO from outside and that that alone is a significant move for the company (I am rooting for GM and hope they improve their marketing game immensely.)

        • 4 Years Ago
        Change can be good but simply making changes is not enough. Anybody can do that. Praise (or the "genius" title) should probably be put on hold until "success" is actually achieved from any changes.

        Far too many times people that had success at one company ended up a failure at another. Hopefully GM will see "success" with Ewanick but only time will tell.

        Also, it takes more than one person to achieve true success.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Dr. Greenthumb: "Who wants to buy a used Hyundai?" Here in Northern California it's the same people who want to buy all the other cheap used cars - illegal immigrants without auto insurance.

      I agree with everyone about the Cadillac website. And I just want to know one thing: when will the 2011 CTS wagons be at the dealerships? No one at GM will reply to e-mails, no one at California dealerships will give me a date. The website is worthless. Another problem is the limited amount of paint colors for the CTS. The extra cost diamond white needs to be discontinued. Go with a wide range of DuPont hot rod hues.
      • 4 Years Ago
      He needs to take a sledge hammer and dynomite to that part of the organization and so I expect things to actually get worse before they get better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the type of person that GM needs. He has done some amazing things with Hyundai and the perception of the brand....so hopefully he can help change the way Buick, Cadillac and Chevy are viewed, as they have some great current and future products.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Polly: CHEAP product has done wonders Hyundai. The whole business plan of Hyundai is to be cheaper than its competitors in a given market segment.

        Hyundai's are only worth something to their initial buyers. The resale value of these care are in a word CRAP.

        Show of hands here: Who's looking to buy a used Hyundai?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Polly

        That is not the case at all. Buick has had a renaissance of new, great products lately...and with the Regal GS just slated for next year, its even better.

        But do you think that all of a sudden people are just going to start buying Buicks in droves? Buick still has the image of an "old persons car" and it is going to take marketing, among other things, in order to get people to consider it again.

        Fact of life...people buy brands, not products (in most cases)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants,
        Regardless of who deserves credit for it (probably many people), marketing had a lot to do with Hyundai's recent successes...as well as luck, product improvements, etc.

        Unfortunately, "good product" is never enough to fuel success in the competitive mainstream marketplace Hyundai operates in. It's silly to think otherwise.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "He has done some amazing things with Hyundai and the perception of the brand"

        Great product has done amazing things for the perception of the Hyundai brand. Marketing has almost nothing to do with it. If you make a good product then any group of high school A/V students could come up with a successful marketing campaign.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM has made strong gains in their product lately and I hope they don't lose that focus in turning their attention to marketing.

      I've never believed much in the make-or-break-you power of marketing. That's not to say that it isn't a component of a product's success, but I don't think is the magic bullet. Solid marketing and advertising can definitely improve sales, but if you create and sustainably maintain production of high-quality, reliable, and desirable automobiles, people will buy them. Even with minimal advertising dollars.

      Conversely, even if you manage to polish a turd, once people smell it they won't come back.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe he has Chevy riff on another Seger tune. Have some of the iconic Chevys of the past shown, then a 'page wipe' to a new product (like Camaro, Malibu, Volt), with "Turn The Page" playing. :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        That has been tossed around before...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The new Cadillac TV ads are not very good. Seriously, people interested in Cadillac do not care if it is the "fastest 4-door sedan in America", in fact you'll lose buyers with this sort of carp.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't necessarily disagree with you, but it could be that Cadillac is attempting to change the demographic of who is actually interested in their cars. Perpetual catering to the over-60 crowd will eventually bankrupt you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Plus the fast frame cuts make most people nauseous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I haven't seen the commercial you are referring to but keep in mind that Cadillac is also trying to go after a more performance oriented crowd with their V-Series models. They're not your father's Cadillacs...wait, that was Oldsmobile's slogan! :-)

        Anyway, the DTS is probably the last of what some might consider the "traditional" or "classic" Cadillac.
        • 4 Years Ago
        An IS250 is a smaller, less powerful and less well equipped car then a loaded CTS. So yeah it should be a lot cheaper. That is an outright silly comparison. But expected from a person who would pick an import anyway, and probably hasn't stepped foot in a Cadillac showroom but just used the same old tired cliches of "crappy interior, better fit and finish."

        My guess is you just clicked every box on the Cadillac website, and that's as close as you ever got to objectively evaluating the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ mapoftazifosho:

        I'm not much into luxury, and as I would equip a CTS it would only come to about $37.5k. Likewise, a comparable IS250 would be about $35.1k as I would option it. Given the weaker performance potential of the small-six Lexus, that's pretty much a draw. I admit, though, I prefer a much more spartan vehicle than most who would shop this type of car. I personally wouldn't shop this market to begin with unless it was pre-owned, so I'm not the typical target customer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Changing that demo is really difficult considering the cost of their cheapest model, the CTS.

        I test drove one with all the stuff I wanted...$58k

        A similarly priced Lexus IS250 with Nav...$40k and the car felt MUCH more solid...including nicer touch points.

        Cadillac doesn't have much for the younger demo's...especially when you take into account the low residual value of Cadillac models compared to other manufacturers...
        • 4 Years Ago
        yep the ads make the car seem cheap and this whole movement with the lines that are suppose to resemble the crest just dont work. I mean look at the new website, WTF! Seriously? Just show us the product in a nice clean site, thats it. We dont need flash overload with poor navigation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I mean look at the new website, WTF! Seriously? "

        Agreed, that site is horrible. Looks like something time warped from 1993. And the Cadillacs are simply too expensive. When the actually selling price of a 328i sedan with the sport/premium/auto package is $4000 less than the equivalent CTS something's wrong. And yes, they do compete. Step #1 for marketing Cadillacs and hooking that desireable younger buyer who will likely buy many more Cadillacs in the future is to drop prices $5000 across the board. Your garden variety CTS or SRX shouldn't cost almost $40,000.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interestingly, I found the CTS-V commercial to be pretty captivating and electrifying. It's probably a demographical thing, but as someone else said, the V isn't your average "old guy's Caddy". I think they are going after a younger male professional buyer with lots of cash to spend, track days to attend and women to impress. That's my best guess, at least...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho,
        The CTS is not meant to compete with the IS250. Really quite different cars. In the Lexus line, the CTS is probably closer to the GS350 but I would also say some of the German brands are more their target as far as imports.

        But if one chose to price out comparably equipped CTS and IS models, the true price difference would not be nearly as great as you suggest.
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