NEW YORK (June 2, 2009)—General Motors Corp. plans to break a new ad tomorrow to explain the “new GM” to the American public, executives familiar with the matter said.
The auto maker already posted the 60-second spot online—including on YouTube and Facebook—shortly after it filed for bankruptcy protection June 1.
“Let's be completely honest: No company wants to go through this,” says the spot, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch advertising firm in 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.
The company has bought advertising time on several national broadcast TV networks, national and local radio, as well as slated inserts in national newspapers and papers in key local markets, a GM spokeswoman told Advertising Age, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News.
“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 auto maker also is directly contacting all GM vehicle owners throughout the month of June.
The campaign is a sign that the troubled car maker is taking pains to educate customers about its reorganization. At the end of the spot, consumers are driven to a new Web site, which includes GM's FastLane blog. GM President-CEO Fritz Henderson said in a post yesterday 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.
In its bankruptcy filing yesterday, 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.