Posted by: David Kiley on June 1, 2009
No question that General Motors has an issue going forward as it works to emerge from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Vice chairman Bob Lutz, who will retire at the end of the year, calls GM’s biggest problem a “reputation deficit.”
Here are a few top line thoughts about what we might expect in the coming months.
1. An ad campaign breaking from GM next week that addresses its past mistakes, but very much lets the public know that it is still in business and ready for the big fight.
2. A gradual shift in ad dollars away from brands being sold or phased out to benefit Chevrolet and Cadillac in particular. Chevrolet will look to go toe to toe with Toyota in ad spending by 2010.
3. A campaign for Buick that will launch in June to benefit the launch of the Lacrosse sedan, as well as the Enclave SUV.
4. Nothing been imparted on this front by GM execs yet. But I will be gobsmacked if GM does not hold some kind of an agency review for its Chevy business, which has been at Interpublic Group’s Campbell-Ewald since FDR was in the White House.
Not that Detroit needs any more unemployment. But C-E has done an awful lot of mediocre work for a very long time. Agencies that should be cued up to give GM all the new ideas and fresh thinking it can stand should include: Deutsch (now handling Saturn and GM corporate); Goodby Silverstein & Partners (winding down its Hyundai work; Kirshenbaum & Bond, NY (BMW digital but has presented some great strategy to auto clients like BMW and Hyundai, but hasn’t caught the bouquet yet); The Martin Agency (Geico and Walmart…this is a smart agency that could lead strategy for a big client like Chevy and figure out how to staff it in Detroit without losing the out of town perspective).