New Ad Introduces Consumers to 'New GM'

Spot Part of Multimedia Campaign That Aims For Transparency Amid Bankruptcy

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NEW YORK ( -- General Motors plans to break a new ad Wednesday to explain the "new GM" to the American public, executives familiar with the matter said.

The automaker already posted the 60-second spot online, including on YouTube and Facebook, shortly after it filed for bankruptcy protection this morning.

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GM's new spot from Deutsch is meant to educate customers about its reorganization. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

"Let's be completely honest: No company wants to go through this," says the spot, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles. "But we're not witnessing the end of the American car; we're witnessing the rebirth of the American car. General Motors needs to start over in order to get stronger. There was a time when eight different brands made sense. Not anymore. There was a time when our cost structure could compete worldwide. Not anymore. Reinvention is the only way we can fix this, and fix it we will."

The ad goes on to tell consumers that the new GM will have fewer models and more efficiencies. For a 60-second spot, it's pretty heavy on the cliches, which include "leaner, greener, faster, smarter" and "This is not about going out of business; this is about getting down to business."

The buy includes several national broadcast TV networks, national and local radio, and inserts in national newspapers and papers in key local markets, a GM spokeswoman told Advertising Age. "We felt that some TV and print ads were necessary to communicate, in mass, to our customers, in a quick and timely manner," the spokeswoman said. The automaker is also directly contacting all GM vehicle owners throughout the month of June.

The campaign is a sign that the troubled carmaker is taking pains to educate customers about its reorganization. At the end of the spot, consumers are driven to a new website, which includes GM's FastLane blog. GM President-CEO Fritz Henderson said in a post today that a key part of the new GM is transparency with consumers. To that end, he and other GM leaders will host a series of live web chats; the first will be June 4 at 3 p.m. ET.

Also noteworthy is that the ad comes from Deutsch, which has been GM's ad agency for the Saturn brand. Corporate brand advertising has long been handled by the agency's Interpublic sibling, McCann Erickson. McCann is handling the print ads, which were created as a "simple, open letter" to customers and consumers from Mr. Henderson, the GM spokeswoman said.

In its bankruptcy filing today, GM cited advertising holding companies Publicis Groupe and Interpublic and its agencies among its top unsecured creditors, to which it owes nearly $170 million collectively.

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