Chevy Confirms It Gets Social Media

chevy_cgm_apprentice.jpg

A couple days ago when we offered our insight on the Chevy Apprentice make your own ad site and wrote, "We think there are some voices inside G.M. that understand social media very well and knew this would happen," we felt strongly, we were right. "This" being the collection of anti-GM, anti-SUV ads people created. In today's New York Times, our assessment was proved correct when Chevrolet's Milisa Tezanos was quoted as saying, "We anticipated that there would be critical submissions. 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." Exactly. This space is very different from old, ordered, one-way traditional media spaces of yesteryear and to expect new spaces to behave the same was is just plain dumb. Rock on GM. Now just makes some cars people want to buy and you'll be all set.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Consumer Created, Good, Online   

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Comments



Comments

You were right and the NY Times says so. Pretty big day for Adrants, I'd say. Congrats, Steve.

Posted by: David Burn on April 4, 2006 2:35 PM

It's not so much that GM isn't making cars the public would be willing to buy. People are just not willing to buy them with the extra $3200 on the price tag that employee health care and pensions cost GM on every vehicle made. (I'm making up that number, but I know it's awfully close.)

The sooner we realize the impact that health care, pensions, and outrageous senior management compensation have on the overall health of big business, the sooner we can then address the marketing problems these businesses face. The really intelligent solutions that we'd want to see from Detroit and Washington DC have been so far woefully inadequate, because the really intelligent solutions would require sacrifice and compromise on all sides.

Greg

Posted by: Gregory Kohs on April 4, 2006 2:54 PM

Excellent point Greg. And thanks, Dave:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on April 4, 2006 3:19 PM

http://www.chevyapprentice.com/view.php?country=us&uniqueid=1e2b5604-157d-1029-98eb-0013724ff5a7


my entry.

Posted by: a35mmlife on April 4, 2006 7:04 PM

Rock on GM?!
you're surely joking right?

If GM really 'anticipated' that social, economic, and environmental activism would become the FOCUS of their viral business plan, why on earth did they not exploit it? GM would get "rock on" points for saying "we have this product, you have criticism; you tell us what you want to see coming from us" That is anticipation. That is ownership of the issue.

It is nothing more than SPIN to claim to know and then proceed to pat yourself on the back for being brave--when we all know GM was spanked.

Posted by: tov on April 4, 2006 9:11 PM

This type of advertising/promoting a brand is just the beginning. I bet more people took the time to make one commercial than they watch all day long. here is mine:

http://www.chevyapprentice.com/view.php?country=us&uniqueid=e4fcef8e-1098-1029-98eb-0013724ff5a7

Posted by: Jen Harris on April 5, 2006 1:05 AM

And, from what I've seen, most of those people spent that time saying the product sucks.

I'm curious, Jen (honestly). Did the process lead you to want to buy one, especially if you weren't considering a GM? Or was making the spot more an exercise to satisfy your own creative itch? Nothing wrong with the latter, but if people aren't doing the former the promotion's a bust. In the meanwhile, the critical voices keep tossing eggs.

My gut says this type of advertising is will lose its newness quickly. Everyone's doing it (Kodak just jumped in the already crowded pool), which means nobody will soon care - except wanna-be directors and those already madly in love with the brands.

Posted by: tmack on April 5, 2006 2:05 AM

tmack- (honestly)my creative side sucks. The whole point is that we are all tuning out one way or another...might as well play on that (hence the "happy fastforwarding" comment on my "commercial". People that did Bush/oil/gas guzzler commercials are the uncreative ones! They could actually be using their power to make a difference in the way we receive information. Times are a changing, it's all up to us to tell them how we want info, not the other way around. And I am not swayed one way or another by commercials, I have my own mavens (as does 92% or so of the population)that I go to when I need an expert. I vehicle in snow/desert/ocean is not going to make me go "oh yea, gotta have that". I am too educated to be swayed. Hence, the online interaction. Again, I bet more people played with making their own commercial (ooohhh, measurable-unlike commericals) than actually watched/fast forwarded through it.

Posted by: Jen Harris on April 5, 2006 2:23 AM

tmack- (honestly)my creative side sucks. The whole point is that we are all tuning out one way or another...might as well play on that (hence the "happy fastforwarding" comment on my "commercial". People that did Bush/oil/gas guzzler commercials are the uncreative ones! They could actually be using their power to make a difference in the way we receive information. Times are a changing, it's all up to us to tell them how we want info, not the other way around. And I am not swayed one way or another by commercials, I have my own mavens (as does 92% or so of the population)that I go to when I need an expert. I vehicle in snow/desert/ocean is not going to make me go "oh yea, gotta have that". I am too educated to be swayed. Hence, the online interaction. Again, I bet more people played with making their own commercial (ooohhh, measurable-unlike commericals) than actually watched/fast forwarded through it.

Posted by: Jen Harris on April 5, 2006 2:24 AM

I hate to say this but I dissagree with the thinking that GM execs saw this coming. Of course they would spin it now that they did, but everyone knows better than to think an American carmaker knows what it's doing anymore.
Check out my post on the topic at:
www.neurothetic.com

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Posted by: Demian on April 5, 2006 11:47 AM

Wow, how brilliant you guys are. You claimed that GM foresaw that, in the vast and varied universe of the Internet, there would be some critical opinions of their gas-guzzling SUV? You are the Kings of Savvy!

Jeesh, come on, who WOULDN'T have known that? Especially after the whole Bush/Cheney "make your own campaign poster" fiasco. The bloggers who made critical ads (myself included) aren't stupid. I knew that Chevy probably expected quite a few critical ads. I just wanted mine to be one of them.

And it's not like this is truly brilliant advertising technique, anyway. Sure, word-of-mouth will spread about the advertising campaign, but will it really make people want to buy the Tahoe? Eh.

Posted by: Whitters on April 5, 2006 2:55 PM

Ok. I am a tree huggin' NW liberal who understands that SUV's guzzle gas, but who also understands that CHEVY KNOWS THAT! Get over it! Again, ALL the people who made "those" kind of commercials are being thrown into a "yea, we knew that" bucket. THE POINT IS is that Chevy just got who know how many millions of people to take at least 5 minutes out of their day to look at a TAHOE! That's 4 1/2 minutes longer than a commercial if you didn't already SKIP over it with your TiVO! It is MEASURABLE! And THAT, my friends is what they wanted. Does it make you buy it? Maybe, maybe not. At least it got you talking about it (creating buzz-whatever!) Your gas guzzlin' ads did no better telling someone why they should not buy it than their neighbor who owns one already.

Posted by: Jen Harris on April 5, 2006 3:12 PM

And, so, we somehow go from all the talk of new social media and how different it's all going to be only to return to an age-old PR theory: any kind of publicity is good publicity. That one's been debated for decades.

As for being "measurable", if those clicks don't make people like the company or buy their products, it's a waste of effort and money. For instance, all these people can be measured by GM. If the want to say that's success, fine. But if you look close, every one of these numbers are negative.

Posted by: tmack on April 5, 2006 4:41 PM

Ok. You have to remember that we are talking about the good 'ol boys club here. They are trying, give them credit for at least trying trying trying to think outside the box. The fact that they stepped outside and are getting rammed for it, is unfair...they are dammed if they do, dammed if they don't. What do you suggest? If they had people submit a commercial ALL ON THEIR OWN w/o the click & drag (which made it very easy & more viral) they would still get rolled over by the likes...aka: all the blog geeks.
Another fact: mass marketing is not going to go away...it will adapt with grassroots/new media efforts...but it won't completly go away.

Posted by: Jen Harris on April 5, 2006 4:59 PM

What isn't being discussed here, though, is that Milisa Tezanos also was quoted saying that 80% of the spots were positive. That means 20% were negative - 1 in 5 blasted the Tahoe. Anticipating a minor backlash is one thing. But a large group of people were ready to pounce on this invitation to be heard.

I think the lesson here is that you shouldn't open the door to consumer-created content when your brand carries somewhat of a polarity in acceptance. You just open yourself up to negativity.

I do commend GM for trying this, though. Just choose the Malibu or something next time. Less objection from the public.

Posted by: Jon on April 10, 2006 11:29 AM

What isn't being discussed here, though, is that Milisa Tezanos also was quoted saying that 80% of the spots were positive. That means 20% were negative - 1 in 5 blasted the Tahoe. Anticipating a minor backlash is one thing. But a large group of people were ready to pounce on this invitation to be heard.

I think the lesson here is that you shouldn't open the door to consumer-created content when your brand carries somewhat of a polarity in acceptance. You just open yourself up to negativity.

I do commend GM for trying this, though. Just choose the Malibu or something next time. Less objection from the public.

Posted by: Jon on April 10, 2006 11:30 AM





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