GM Understands Social Media. Selling SUVs In A Post Peak-Oil Economy Still A Question Mark.

Steve Hall was right.
As part of their ChevyApprentice promotion, GM was prepared to have egg thrown on its face by environmentally conscious (anti-SUV) consumers, and they were even prepared to let the egg stay there all hard and scarring.
How this builds the brand or moves steel, no one knows. At any rate, here’s what Hall said over the weekend:

We think there are some voices inside GM that understand social media very well and knew this would happen. We’re not surprised at all and we’re not surprised they’ve left the negative ads up.

Today, the New York Times confirmed Hall’s suspicions, and even mentioned his thoughts on the matter.

A spokeswoman for Chevrolet, Melisa Tezanos, said the company did not plan to shut down the anti-S.U.V. ads.
“We anticipated that there would be critical submissions,” Ms. Tezanos said. “You do turn over your brand to the public, and we knew that we were going to get some bad with the good. But it’s part of playing in this space.”

About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.