Tuesday, April 04, 2006

GM getting heat over their CGM program

There's a lot of buzz lately about GM's new campaign for the Chevy Tahoe that lets people make their own commercials. Needless to say, people have not behaved. Visit here.

The background:
GM launched this latest ad campaign on Trump's The Apprentice (btw, not my fav season). As part of the campaign, users are invited to visit the site where they can create "the best Tahoe online commercial" for a chance to win... nope, not a Tahoe but some fancy trips. A visitor goes to the site, picks different video clips, music and text messages... then viola, their own commercial. The site is not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination, it's been done before with much more interesting content =).

The buzz:
Bloggers have been talking about this for a few days. Most of them have called it a mistake. They're saying: It was a sad attempt at consumer generated media. Not like the cool Converse thing at all. GM is yet another clueless corporate poser trying to be cool. What a disaster.

You can read some articles here, here and here.

My take:

If you haven't played around with it yet, go ahead. You need to experience it before any of this makes sense. Before you go, I dare you to try to play around with it and NOT make fun of the car. It's almost begging for it. Go ahead, it's here.

See what I mean? It's fun. Guess what? You've also engaged with their brand. I think the bloggers are partially right. They were asking for it. But I also think it can still be called a successful CGM campaign. That's the nature of CGM, you can't control it. You don't want to control it.

Sure, they got a bunch of people sending bad commercials around but people don't buy or not buy cars based off of graffiti-esque commercials. They buy cars on brand recognition, price and features (I used to help sell Nissans). Getting people to talk about your brand is important.

What I see from this for GM is an opportunity. They've essentially created a channel for consumers to speak out, albeit a weird channel. But hey, it's a place to listen and see what people are saying about your brand. That's incredibly valuable and worth a few bad comedic commercials.

No comments: