GM Courts Youth With Video Ops

General Motors is joining the ranks of marketers trying to woo younger consumers by engaging their directorial skills.

The carmaker is inviting aspiring producers to submit videos, then choosing a handful to film GM-sponsored events alongside a professional crew. The coverage is then placed on GM’s new site, I Got Shotgun, and on other destinations such as YouTube, Revver and Vox. To bolster the effort, the citizen journalists will blog about their experiences on Shotgun.

According to GM media bureau director Len Marsico, the effort largely aims to communicate with 20-35-year-olds as they consider their first car purchases. “We’re looking at starting a dialogue with them,” said Marsico, who added that they might not know, for instance, that GM is involved in the Grammys as a sponsor. (GM also has a blogging site,

Weber Shandwick, Detroit, which handles public relations for GM, co-conceived the idea for the effort with the automaker and brought in three production partners: IPG sibling Magna Global Entertainment, production house Fear TV and McCann Worldgroup interactive unit MRM Worldwide.

The first event GM sent consumers to cover was the Super Bowl, followed by last night’s Sony BMG party for the Grammy Awards. Prior to launch, it had performed test runs by sending crews to the Cadillac-sponsored Celebrity Go Cart Race and the unveiling of the Camaro convertible at the North American International Auto Show.

Chris Perry, evp and gm, Weber Shandwick, said, “It’s a different kind of play for consumers who think of GM differently.”