Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

GMs Dubious Super Bowl Ad Claims
National Legal & Policy Center ^ | February 6, 2012 | Mark Modica

Posted on 02/06/2012 11:59:36 AM PST by jazusamo

Some very humorous (if not cost-effective) ads were exhibited by General Motors during this year's Super Bowl game. GM continues to freely spend its stockpile of taxpayer supplied cash reserve as it even aired a spot touting the Chevy Volt. At a cost of $3.5 million for a 30 second spot the expense equals about 15% of the total revenues GM brought in during the entire month of January for the Volt when sales fell to a dismal level of 603. What is the reasoning behind spending so much to advertise a vehicle that sells in such small numbers and is not profitable if not political? But the ad that may lead to more controversy than the Volt folly was the one in which GM claims their trucks are more dependable than Ford's; a claim that is highly debatable and not backed by studies at Consumers Reports (CR).

The ad in question features survivors who gather together in their GM trucks after a 2012 apocalypse. One friend is missing because he drove a Ford and didn't have the "longest lasting, most dependable" GM truck. The disclaimer on the bottom of the ad pointed to registrations of GM trucks on the road since 1981 as evidence for the unsubstantiated claim. Since GM has pointed to CR to tout Chevy Volt reliability, I thought they could give a much more accurate depiction of GM truck dependability. And GM does not stack up well.

According to CR's December 2011 issue which rates auto manufacturer's reliability, GM has the bottom two ratings in the category of full sized trucks. The Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500 each had such poor ratings of 123% worse than average that the graph bar was off the chart! Of the bottom 10 trucks on the list, GM had six entries compared to Ford's two and three of the bottom five compared to one for Ford. GM seems to be continuing with its habit of spinning the facts to suit their needs.

What makes this situation interesting is the fact that Ford pulled its ads that criticized GM for receiving a bailout while Ford was able to succeed without massive taxpayer assistance. GM is not returning the favor as they arrogantly take on both competitors and critics with a strategy that appears political in nature. From twisting facts on the Super Bowl truck ad to condemning "right wing" media outlets for daring to criticize the Chevy Volt, GM is living up to the nickname of Government Motors. The problem with this strategy is that, while it might work in politics where only 51% of the public needs to be convinced (or fooled), in the very competitive auto field it is a dangerous strategy to alienate any group of individuals including those that are still sensitive to the fact that GM has costs taxpayers billions of dollars. And I don't think GM should instigate a battle with Ford that may see Ford reviving the bailout theme.

It is a very dubious claim for GM to make in touting their trucks as more "dependable" than Ford's. Attention is also drawn to the fact that the Ford F-series has been the top selling vehicle in America for 30 years and remains the class of the field. If GM wants to better compete, it should focus on building quality vehicles that offer better value for consumers, not on a costly and deceptive ad campaign that does not have the facts to back it.

The last twist I found amusing was the offering of a Twinkie by one GM truck driver to another. It is ironic that GM exhibits a Hostess product in its ad after Hostess had to file for a second chapter 11 bankruptcy due to unsustainable union legacy costs . Perhaps that can be viewed as a foreshadowing of a different type of apocalyptic event for GM if UAW costs are not kept in check while the company continues with a free-spending strategy (side note: Ford did not splurge on costly Super Bowl ads) that is better suited to politics than to free market capitalism.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Sports
KEYWORDS: advertising; bailout; chevyvolt; gm; governmentmotors; nlpc; twinkiecommercial
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-24 last
To: jazusamo

Instead of using the hard-earned taxpayer’s money to, oh, I don’t know, say, put more money into their cars, or reduce the price of their cars, they use that money to attack Ford. If only the taxpayers required the government to show their Return On Investment (ROI), we’d be tossing these jokers out of office and out of their fancy chairs faster than they can make Twinkies. That’s it! GM went under and Hostess went under. The new nickname for GM vehicles.....TWINKIES!!!!


21 posted on 02/06/2012 2:14:46 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo; All
You know I just googled something...2014 Ford F150

The F150 ( etc ) is apparently scheduled for a redesign / freshening by then according to the auto rumor mills / blogs.

The big rumor is light weight materials, and people forget the joint agreement with Toyota to develop a hybrid drive-train for Truck Applications.

What if they repeat their success ergo the new Fusion (and how it will potentially crush the Volt especially from an engineering standpoint) in the 2014ish F-150?

If so, Mr. Smarty Pants GM taking smack might get his engineering @$$ handed to him too...

22 posted on 02/06/2012 3:10:43 PM PST by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
One of the saddest things about the GM bailout is that when I was a boy, chevy trucks really were more dependable than fords. Fords had V8s and that made them popular with a certain crowd, while chevy had dependability and that made them popular with people who wanted value for their buck rather than a fast vehicle.

At one time I was a chevy man, but haven't been for many, many years. I have a ford truck that has 166,000+ miles on it and have replaced exactly One each clutch and water pump. Both of these well after the 100,000 mile mark.

23 posted on 02/06/2012 3:28:39 PM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldMissileer

Yep, Twinkies. Survival Food for teenagers.


24 posted on 02/07/2012 6:15:17 AM PST by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-24 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson