Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Made to Stick sticks it to the GM ad

I'm not the only one who sees some contradictions in GM's heavy rotation Olympic ad. Here's what they're saying on the Made to Stick blog:

[I]t seems to be a rare specimen: the self-refuting argument. First, there’s the primary argument, made via the titles: “…goes for miles and miles on every gallon,” “hybrid,” “biofuel,” “clean diesel,” “fuel cell.” I.e., GM is Rainforest Pure. GM = Green Motors.

Then, at the end of the ad, as the song comes to an emotional close, comes the rejoinder: the HUMMER logo. Brilliant! Objection sustained.

The GM spot has made me dream of launching my own ad, with a (tough but inspiring) Lucinda Williams song playing over a montage of great moments in feminist history — from Seneca Falls to Rosie the Riveter, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Betty Friedan to Carly and Hillary. And then, with a dramatic flourish, as the cymbals crash and fade, comes: the HOOTERS logo.

From a marketing standpoint at least, it's time for GM to pick a side: stand by the Hummer and lose any environmentalist aspirations, or promote fuel efficiency and new technologies at the expense of Hummer porn. Regardless of whether the perception is based in reality, the Hummer stands for everything that environmentally-conscious consumers hate about gas-powered vehicles, so GM can't have it both ways. And because they're trying to do just that, I think the worst is yet to come for our shiny, blue friends.

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