Heads Are Rolling In Detroit Today

Chevy Tahoe just screwed up BIG TIME.
In attempt to do the right thing and fully embrace consumer generated content, someone forgot that it needs to be screened first, before it goes live. Oops.
Here’s copy from one ad, now live on the Chevy Apprentice site.

Like Snow? Beautiful landscapes? Be sure to take it all in now because…
Tomorrow this asshole’s SUV will change the world
Global warming isn’t a pretty SUV ad
It’s a frightening reality
Tahoe—An American Revolution

The ad, and others like it, will likely not be up on the Chevy site for long, but thanks to YouTube, they will continue to live in infamy.
[via Metafilter]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. (Nelson Muntz clears throat)
    Haw Haw.

  2. couldn’t someone have done a pun or play on words with heavy hoes?

  3. Now there is one remarkable piece of reality advertising. For once, (at least, for a short while) the local and unguarded truth wins out.
    Seems Chevy’s apprentice is a viral stew of, “What the hell were we thinking?” nuggets, served up with a side of “I hope my stock options are still worth something”.
    Where do we go from here? That’s a hell of a good question, America.

  4. And, amazingly, they still haven’t taken the spot down. Of course, the idealist in me hopes the folks at Chevy have a remarkable respect for opposing opinions. More likely, they’re just asleep at the wheel.

  5. I think there are some voices inside GM that understand social media very well and knew this would happen. I am not surprised at all and I’m nor surprise they’ve left the ads up. If all we saw on that site were glowing praises of the vehicle, the promotion would simply be seen as just another lame attempt at capitalizing on a trends.
    It may, in fact be lame as a concept but by leaving the negative ads up, one truly hopes advisers to Chevy are telling them this is what it’s all about and if you kill it, you’ll just be labelled another boring automotive advertiser.

  6. Steve,
    And some SUV owners are proud of the fact that they are seen as such. The ones who just laugh in the ecology-minded people’s faces. Such an ad sells even bigger and uglier vehicles to that crowd.
    Damn, why can’t I put an ad here for somebody to fix my motobecane moped? email me if you can help

  7. Chevy Leaves Negative Tahoe Ads Up On ‘Chevy Apprentice’ Site

    After viewing all the humorous, consumer-created SUV-bashing Tahoe ads born out of the Chevy Apprentice make-your-own ad promotion and reading some think GM is making a mistake with this, we thought we’d share out opinion that, lame as this…

  8. I agree, Steve. It’s good to see GM hasn’t quickly dumped work that flies in the face of their true goal – promoting their product. Still….
    “I like this brand because they admit their products are bad for the world.”
    Supporting such a view may show the brand to be honest, but does it make good business sense? It’s a new day in marketing when a company willingly promotes the idea that you shouldn’t buy its products. (Not that I don’t agree with that notion.)

  9. If a corporation is supposed to act personal, Mr. T-Mack, how do people act when faced with the other group of the junior high clique making fun of you. You remember back to the wonder years and know what is mostly true. Doubt-defiance duo core.
    If you were insistant that no one was gonna beat you at the math game, you know that there were bound to be those boys who would sit at your study hall table just to get your answers of geo proofs.
    Certainly not to drool when looking at your tits.
    Can I emoticon this post with a 🙂

  10. Nancy, I’m not sure I entirely agree with your point, but I do find your metaphorical approach to debate a lovely thing. My question, I suppose, is whether it makes sense for GM to sit itself at the junior high table in the first place. Will it move any vehicles off the lot or give the company a bloody nose?
    Then again, if GM’s Brand Managers are truly machiavellian, the whole point may be to galvanize the SUV bullies around the brand as it’s attacked by the Science Club.
    As for your moped, I may know someone who’ll trade repairs for literate quips. A smile back at you this fine Sunday.

  11. We all ate lunch in junior high, even if your junior high was a home school. How many people get past junior high these days, anyway. Well, lots, but what do we settle for or remember in the long run, certainly not high school calculas when buying a car. It’s figuring payments–about 7th grade. It’s figuring if I look cool or cute–about 7th grade.
    Then of course who is seeing this stuff on the web. The people buying it or making it? I never went to the site. I clicked on the one ad and that was it. (I found the typography lacking, btw)
    As for the trade? Damn, for the literate quips I can trade for, I’ll take a porsche. That is for the days when the moped doesn’t ride–like when it’s raining and I don’t want to mess my hair or have my mascara running and smeared all over my face. Sometimes a girl has got to look cute.

  12. Christy says:

    Talk about a backfire campaign. So far I only found these 5 commercials but I am sure they get much worse.