05 April 2006

Chevy Spoof Ads: Unexpectedly Brilliant Move?

First, GM's invitation to the world to "make your own" Chevy Tahoe commercial spawned a slew of Chevy-bashing spoof ads with copy such as "Our planet's oil is almost gone. You don't need G.P.S. to see where this road leads."

Then several prominent publications profiled the campaign as an unintended disaster. Like The NY Times:
"...the company was hoping that visitors to its Web site would e-mail their own videos around the Web, generating interest for the Tahoe through what is known as viral marketing. By the measure of Chevrolet Tahoe videos circulating the blogosphere and the video-hosting Web sites like YouTube, that goal was achieved. But the videos that were circulated most widely like the commercial that attacked the S.U.V. for its gas mileage, may not be what Chevrolet had in mind."

And CNET's
"General Motors did little in the way of damage control on Monday after a do-it-yourself ad campaign for a GM SUV was hijacked by critics of the company and thousands of negative ads flooded the Web."

But, finally, the consensus at many of the leading tech weblogs was, brilliant move, GM. Here's Scoble:
"It got me to think about Chevy all day long. I wasn't thinking about my Ford Focus and how it successfully went 25,000 miles (passed that point on Sunday without even a rattle). I wasn't thinking about the tax man. Or my next video I need to edit. No, I was thinking about Chevy."

And here's Mike Masnick at Techdirt:
" seems like perhaps GM understood what would happen a lot more than the so-called 'experts'.... GM is getting even more mileage from this campaign, and making it appear that they are more open to listening to those who disagree with them. Rather than reflecting negatively on GM, as the experts (and the reporters) would have you believe, GM actually comes out of it looking pretty good. So, it's questionable as to whether or not GM was 'slow to react' or if they are simply doing everything according to plan.

I kinda think GM was one step ahead of us on this one.


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