Looking for evidence that marketers aren’t as technologically savvy as the consumers they want to reach? Here’s a good one.

According to a report in today’s New York Times, the secret message inside a special promotion for General Motors was cracked by visitors to the promo’s site (findthemessage.com) because “most of the ‘secret’ message is included in the site’s source code.” The original plan was for the message to be revealed, word-by-word, on billboards being unveiled across the country (see depiction of Detroit banner above).

Whoops.  One visitor to the site lambastes GM for not realizing that someone would come along and “use an SWF Scanner or Hex Editor to find the words.” We couldn’t agree more!

Excuse us while we go look up what SWF Scanners and Hex Editors are.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor