If you’re a regular reader of The Huffington Post, as I am, then you’ve noticed that it’s become a favorite destination of advertising and PR execs to promote…well, whatever they want to promote, usually their industry or themselves.
Jeff Goodby takes a slightly different tack, in a post called, “Wish Us Luck: We Are Chevy’s Advertising Agency”
In the week before our first work was released, the Detroit Free Press leaked the news that our theme line would be “Chevy runs deep.” It was immediately greeted as “the worst theme line ever” by the car blogger jalopnik.org, whose opinion was Facebooked and re-Tweeted across cyberspace before a single piece of advertising had ever run.
I’m happy to report that reviews since then have been significantly more kind — as has press reaction to the new Chevys, especially the Cruze and the plug-in Volt, which Motor Trend named their Car of the Year this week. There is a spring in our step.
Also this month, of course, GM has tested the waters of a public offering. Things seem to have gone well, in the early going. We created a commercial for the event that thanked the American public for helping GM in a time of need. It was likewise greeted with either gracious admiration or unbridled scorn — not much in between. Everybody seemed to notice, however.
Goodby’s doing something very smart here. First, he’s putting a human face on the “new” GM, or at least its advertising folks. Many Americans loathe GM for letting the government bail it out, and many would still love to see it fail. Consequently, no advertising campaign, whether it’s good or bad conceptually, will be able to sway Americans dramatically one way or another.
Goodby knows this, because in a sense his agency is starting out in a no-win situation. So using whatever PR channels they can to tell their part of the story sounds like a good idea to me. Plus, you rarely see any high-profile agency execs get out and be a true advocate for their clients’ businesses.
It’s also not the first time Goodby has been particularly savvy about using public relations.