GM Heralds Impending Rebirth in Brand Push

On the heels of its bankruptcy filing, General Motors this week is breaking a corporate image campaign that paints a picture of a humbled company and attempts to reassure the public that GM is committed to its impending reinvention.
A 60-second commercial from IPG’s Deutsch/LA launched this morning on a site dedicated to educating the public about the changes the company is going through. The spot attempts to reassure viewers that “we aren’t witnessing the end of the American car. We’re witnessing the rebirth of the American car.”
Said a GM representative: “We felt that some TV and print ads were necessary to communicate, en mass, to our customers, in a quick and timely manner. We wanted to be sure consumers know we are open for business in the U.S. and worldwide and honoring customer commitments…that we are here to stay and we will succeed by taking care of our customers and continuing to sell great cars and crossovers.”

In the commercial, which begins airing on TV nationally on Wednesday, the company acknowledges its past mistakes and outlines its plans for the future.

A voiceover explains that at one time for GM, eight brands and a heavy cost structure “made sense, [but] not anymore.” The ad goes on to say that GM is seeking to rise again as a “leaner, greener, faster, smarter” company.
“You have to figure out how to sell cars from a bankrupt company — and sell cars from a bankrupt company that a lot of people don’t like right now,” said Eric Hirshberg, co-president and CCO of Deutsch/LA, of the image challenge GM is facing. “The first job is convincing people that there is a real chance for change. So few people supported the government simply bailing GM out because there was so little belief that people can change.” He added: “Chapter 11 actually gives people a reason to believe that real change is possible. It gives people the ability to root for GM again.”

In addition to the spot, the site features clips of automaker employees such as Mark LaNeve, GM North America vp, vehicle sales, service and marketing, discussing the company’s continued commitment to its customers and engineers talking about their work on the Chevy Volt electric car.

The campaign includes radio, print and newspaper ads from IPG’s McCann Erickson, New York, that will take the form of an “open letter” from GM president and CEO Fritz Henderson.