New Era For GM Advertising?

There’s been a whole lot of tongues wagging in the industry over the hiring of Joel Ewanick as General Motors’ new U.S. marketing chief. Let’s just say GM needs the kind of help Ewanick can bring to the table and leave it at that.
Plus – the grapevine has been buzzing with his swift move to hire Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for Chevy’s new national creative agency.
Publicis, which first got a six-month contract last December for Chevy cars, won the entire account from Chevy’s 91-year shop IPG’s Campbell-Ewald without a review about a month ago. But that was BJ – Before Joel, who has been accused of pulling the rug out from under Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy & company.
Not so fast. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Levy worked his magic behind the scenes in 2007 by convincing GM CEO Rick Wagoner to consolidate Buick and GMC at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett network from IPG’s McCann Erickson and Lowe respectively. He told me last month he also pow-wowed with GM leaders this time around to capture all of Chevy from IPG. You can bet the Publicis bunch was high-fiving over that one. Again that was BJ.
And how was the work Publicis did for Chevy cars during the Olympics that helped it bag the entire account? You be the judge

And Publicis, with Chevy’s blessing mind you, was about to switch the brand’s ad tag to “Excellence for All,” lambasted by Autoextremist.com as being a horrendous move for the brand. How could it be that no one at Publicis, or inside Chevy or high up at GM for that matter, had the giblets to question that line?

Thankfully, Ewanick has scrubbed the line for good, also erasing it from a new commercial Publicis created for Chevrolet that broke this week, a much better effort by the agency, I must say.

The problem with the way Publicis was going to handle Chevy was via four different offices, each with a different creative chief, which had been OK with Ewanick’s predecessor. But insiders at Chevy were already questioning how that set up could work, ie, it was a recipe for disaster.

Meantime, stay tuned for the first Chevrolet work from Goodby within weeks.

We are looking forward to it!

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One response to “New Era For GM Advertising?

  1. Curvin O'Rielly

    “Dependable Friend” is a commercial any half-way decent creative director would have killed before it made its way to the client’s desk.

    The other commercial here, the one about Chevy’s “Red X” team, is completely generic. As a car buyer, I expect that all vehicles are inspected down to every last detail.

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