Friday, April 07, 2006

Chevy Tahoe follow-up, now we're talking!

So just a few days ago, I posted about GM's foray into consumer generated media with the Chevy Tahoe create your own ad site. In my post, I said the best thing for GM to do was to take advantage of all this excitement and start talking to consumers.

That's exactly what they did today. In an exceptionally well-written post, Ed Peper, the Chevy General Manager responds to the whole situation. Here's some interesting things he's said:

"Early on we made the decision that if we were to hold this contest, in which we invite anyone to create an ad, in an open forum, that we would be summarily destroyed in the blogosphere if we censored the ads based on their viewpoint. So, we adopted a position of openness and transparency, and decided that we would welcome the debate. (As an aside, we have been truly disappointed by the number of submissions we had to filter out because of their vulgar content.) I won't bore you with the details, but the overwhelming majority of the 22,000 submissions thus far have been earnest attempts at creating positive advertisements.

Now that the debate has begun, I'd like to remind everyone of some indisputable facts:"

He goes on to list quite a few selling points, as you'd expect. Then he wraps up with this:

"So, a few media pundits seem to think this social media program was a failure and others seem to revel in the apparent anarchy. We, on the other hand, welcome the opportunity to clarify the facts regarding fuel economy, vehicles equipped with E85 capability, and consumer choice. In our opinion, this has been one of the most creative and successful promotions we have done.

Anyway, it sure got people talking about the Tahoe. Which was the whole idea, after all.

I can't think of a better way for them to approach the situation. I'm actually very impressed with the openness and "water off a duck's back" approach to the negativity. I really think they get it. They understand what CGM is about; the openness and the invitation for both the good and the bad. They're engaging in conversation about the negativity and they're staying on target.

Have I mentioned I'm impressed? Nice job guys.

See the post on GM's FastLane blog here.

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