DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Beleaguered General Motors Corp., which is trying desperately to change perception of its brands after a quick trip to bankruptcy court this summer, has found further proof that a new round of ads promising money-back guarantees is working.
Research released today by auto site Edmunds.com indicates the automaker's 60-day refund program is drawing consideration from more shoppers and in some cases converting them to buyers. Traffic from Edmunds.com to sites for GM's four core vehicle brands -- Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC -- is up by nearly 10% vs. the average from before the offer was announced.
The offer "is turning some shoppers into buyers in varying degrees depending on the brand and model," said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at Edmunds.com.
Specifically, the cash-back offer is attracting new shoppers and buyers for both Cadillac and GMC. First-time car buyers are looking at Chevrolet, but not as many are buying. Buick, meanwhile, is not attracting new car buyers to consider the brand, but the deal is encouraging those already considering the brand to buy.
The models benefiting most are the Chevy Camaro and Tahoe, plus the GMC Yukon, Acadia and Sierra 1500.
"This program's message is a statement that GM has confidence in its products," said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds. "The company has come a long way in product development, but the brand has to overcome negative perceptions in order to win more customers," he said.
GM announced the "Satisfaction Guarantee" program Sept. 10 and kicked it off with a broad national TV buy that weekend in a spot featuring the automaker's new chairman, Ed Whitacre. The media flight with the chairman's spot was extended Sept. 18 for an indefinite period after GM learned of a willingness by consumers to consider GM vehicles within the first two days of the commercial.
McCann Erickson, Birmingham, Mich., GM's corporate agency, created the spot, along with GM's umbrella-themed work, "May the Best Car Win," for all of GM's vehicle brands.